If some reports are to be believed, Rahm Emanuel's reign in Chicago could be shorter than expected.

A Feb. 14 Daily Beast column got the political rumor mill working overtime, yet again, with news that Emanuel "may be toying with a 2016 presidential run."

The Daily Beast cites unnamed sources, only calling them "well-connected Democrats" who believe the Chicago mayor's talks with donors and fundraisers means he may throw his hat into the ring if Hillary Clinton — currently believed to be the field-clearer on the Dem's side — opts out of the race in the next cycle.

Despite the spotty sourcing, the interesting part of the Daily Beast's claim, according to NBC Chicago, is that the rumor refuses to die even as Emanuel himself has thrown cold water on the idea in the past.

The Sun-Times points to Emanuel making a show to reporter Fran Spielman in May 2012 when he signed a note reading “I, Rahm Emanuel, will not run for another office — EVER.”

Emanuel spokesman Sarah Hamilton recently trotted out the same line to the paper — “He’s not running for president” — that has been used to deny past rumors of an Emanuel presidential run.

Various reports also point to the mayor's agenda of late, including what could be seen as power plays like hosting a major post-inaugural bash in Washington and helping prop up his former boss' agenda by hosting a tele-town hall staged by President Obama's non-profit group “Organizing for Action.”

In late January, the Chicago Reader zeroed in on a mayoral Freudian slip during a press conference: The former White House chief of staff joked that a Chicago high schooler was ready to "primary me in 2016." Oops? The Chicago 2015 mayor race doesn't have primaries — but the presidential race the following year does.

Several outlets seem to agree that whatever Emanuel or his people say (or write on a sticky note to City Hall reporters), the best evidence that the mayor could be serious about a presidential run is his very denial. For Rahm-watchers, the current narrative is a familiar one.

In 2010, the Washington Post reported that "Emanuel is said to have told people that the chief-of-staff role is an 18-month job and that he is considering a run for mayor of Chicago," but his spokespeople quickly sprang into action to douse the rumors. Ten months later.

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    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, right, and Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy discuss gun violence at a news conference Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, in Chicago. During the news conference McCarthy, Emanuel, and Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez said they will push for state legislation that increases the minimum sentences for those who violate the state's gun laws. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

  • The Many Sides Of Rahm Emanuel

    FILE - In this Oct. 27, 2011 file photo, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, right, visits with Brandy Toliver, left, and Mariah Neyland, in their first-grade class at the CICS Washington Park School on Chicago's South Side. The Chicago Public Schools extended the school day from 5 hours and 45 minutes to 7 hours in 2012 after a heated offensive by parents. Emanuel, a proponent of longer school days, had originally proposed a 7 1/2-hour school stay, but adjusted his proposal after discussions with parents, some of whom had been critical of the original plan. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

  • The Many Sides Of Rahm Emanuel

    In this photo provided by the office of the mayor and posted to his Twitter account on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel holds a sign asking, "Any advice for people who shake a ton of hands?" The photo was tweeted during a Twitter chat held by the city's Department of Health to answer questions. To answer, Dr. Julie Morita of the health department replied via Twitter: "My advice is to wash your hands frequently and have hand sanitizer readily available!" (AP Photo/Courtesy The Mayors Office, Brooke Collins)

  • The Many Sides Of Rahm Emanuel

    FILE - This July 9, 2012 file photo shows Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel answers questions during a news conference in Chicago. Dozens of celebrities, elected officials, and others are blitzing through battleground states in the White House race’s final days. Their goal: give the presidential campaigns a daily presence in key states even when the men at the top of the ticket (and their running mates) pitch for votes elsewhere. (AP Photo/Sitthixay Ditthavong. File)

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    Newly appointed Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett speaks, accompanied by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel at a news conference, Friday, Oct. 12, 2012, in Chicago. Emanuel replaced his embattled public schools chief Jean-Claude Brizard with Bennett, a veteran educator and administrator whose experience in Cleveland, Detroit and New York will help take Chicago school reforms “to the next level.” (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

  • The Many Sides Of Rahm Emanuel

    NATO demonstrator Medea Benjamin, of Washington D.C., holds a sign in front of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's home, Saturday, May 19, 2012, in Chicago. On Sunday, the start of the two-day NATO summit, thousands of protesters are expected to march to the McCormick Place convention center, where NATO delegates will be meeting. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

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    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel listen to lawmakers ask questions while testifying during the House Committee Hearing on Personnel and Pensions at the Illinois State Capitol Tuesday, May 8, 2012 in Springfield, Ill. Emanuel wants to raise the retirement age, make city employees contribute more to their pension funds and halt cost-of-living increases for retirees. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)