Rahm Emanuel Announces Exit Obama makes his chief of staff's exit official By Newser Editors and Wire Services Posted Oct 1, 2010 11:16 AM CDT 4 comments Comments In this Aug. 4, 2010 file photo, President Barack Obama waves as he walks with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel to board his helicopter on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. (AP) (Newser) – President Barack Obama said a bittersweet goodbye today to the energetic and fierce manager of his White House, chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, and elevated a quiet and seasoned adviser, Pete Rouse, to the most important gate-keeping job in American politics. "We could not have accomplished what we've accomplished without Rahm's leadership," Obama said. Emanuel is departing after nearly two grueling years to run for Chicago mayor. The announcement was such a poorly kept secret that Obama joked it was "the least suspenseful announcement of all time." Without specifically mentioning the Chicago mayor's race he intends to enter, Emanuel told Obama he's "energized by the prospect of new challenges." He said he's eager to see what he can do "to make our hometown even greater."