White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, known for his hard-charging attitude and abrasive temperament, announced Friday that he would leave the Obama administration to pursue a mayoral bid in Chicago.
The announcement followed weeks of speculation that Emanuel would leave his top adviser position at the White House and return to his native city to run for mayor. He served as a congressman from Illinois prior to his chief of staff appointment.
Senior White House adviser Pete Rouse will serve as chief of staff on an interim basis.
, Emanuel said goodbye in an emotional ceremony Friday morning.
"Because my temperament is sometimes a bit different than yours, Mr. President, I want to thank my colleagues for their patience the last two years. I'm sure you've heard some words you've never heard before, and an assortment of combination of words."
During his tenure as chief of staff, Emanuel has been accused of standing in the way of gay rights progress. He served in the Clinton White House during the time the "don't ask, don't tell" policy was created.