CHICAGO (CNN) - Rahm Emanuel hopes to wield the legendary power that comes with being mayor of this city, but for now he can't even get his house back from a tenant.
I just rolled up to Emanuel's house on the North Side of the city to meet his tenant, Robert Halpin, who doesn't seem too happy about all of the media attention surrounding his landlord's expected departure from the White House as early as Friday.
According the Chicago Sun-Times, Halpin signed a one-year lease to rent Emanuel's house during the early part of the Obama administration because the White House chief of staff moved his family to Washington.
While the former congressman was always planning to move back here at some point to run for office again, he assumed that Mayor Richard M. Daley would run for re-election. Emanuel was expecting to keep running the White House until roughly the spring of 2011.
In fact, the Sun-Times reported Emanuel recently signed a new one-year lease with Halpin - just six days before Daley unexpectedly announced his retirement.
Emanuel scrambled to get the house back so that he could meet the residency requirement to run for mayor. But the tenant will not give it up - as Chicago pols know better than anyone, a deal is a deal.
Friends of Emanuel say he's lining up another home to rent and will be able to meet the legal requirements to run for mayor if he officially takes the plunge.
I knocked on Emanuel's nice red brick house on a tree-lined street, and Halpin answered with a polite but firm: "Can't talk to you!"
As Halpin shut the door I asked if he would vote for Emanuel for mayor, but he didn't answer.
Next stop: city hall. I'm assuming folks will be more talkative there.