It is not a surprise that Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D- Chicago) had nothing but good things to say about President Barack Obama when we were granted a lengthy interview with the former Chief of Staff this afternoon.
Emanuel is extremely tight with the president. The two both hail from Chicago, and served in the same delegation of members of congress from Illinois. He served as the president's Chief of Staff for roughly a year and half before mounting a successful run for Mayor of his hometown. Emanuel has seen President Obama in action when disasters hit and believes his cool demeanor helps everything run efficiently.
"You have now seen what a federal government can do to step in help cities and help communities," Emanuel said. "Even Governor Christie from New Jersey recognized this and thanked the president personally for it."
This week, democrats have attacked Mitt Romney for suggesting in the past that FEMA did not need to play as important role in disaster relief as it currently does. The republican has argued that local governments know their community best and should lead the recovery effort. Emanuel, now a mayor himself, agrees local leaders need authority, but believes it helps to have the global view that the White House provides.
"The federal government can marshall resources that every community and every government cannot do on their own," he said. "Only the Commander in Chief, only the president can make sure everyone is pulling their oar in the same direction."
While it is still too early to estimate the public's response to the president's handling of Super Storm Sandy, republicans continue to remain on the attack when it comes to the tragedy in Libya. Libya represents another example of a fast moving situation, where many different stake holders are in play, but the White House is the ultimate authority.
Republicans argue that the Obama Administration's response was slow and inconsistent and that decisions made prior to the attack on the Benghazi Consulate may have lead to the tragedy. Emanuel, who has been in the White House situation room, said we need to wait to see what the investigations into the incident reveal.
"What the president did is what a Commander-in-Chief needs to do," he said. "One- comfort those who lost families, two- order and entire review of what happened and three find those responsible and bring justice those responsible as he did with Osama bin Laden."
When pressed on the mixed messages from senior Obama administration leaders, Emanuel defended the response, saying that when multiple intelligence agencies are sending in information, it is difficult to get a clear picture of exactly what took place.
"It is evolving when you had an incident like that," he said. "What you shouldn't be doing is rushing to judgement on exactly what happened there."
It remains an issue still up for debate, but given the shortening campaign schedule it will be difficult for it to be fully vetted before election day, especially with the intense political spotlight.
Our full interview with Mayor Emanuel, which includes his take on the direction of close battlegrounds in the midwest, can be found below: