Emanuel uses Obama compliments in latest campaign ad

CHICAGO Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:38pm EST

Former White House Chief of Staff and Chicago mayoral hopeful Rahm Emanuel answers questions during a news conference with members of the gay and lesbian community in Chicago January 28, 2011. REUTERS/Frank Polich

Former White House Chief of Staff and Chicago mayoral hopeful Rahm Emanuel answers questions during a news conference with members of the gay and lesbian community in Chicago January 28, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Frank Polich

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CHICAGO (Reuters) - Rahm Emanuel, the former White House chief of staff running for Chicago mayor, released a new ad on Friday featuring praise from President Barack Obama.

The radio ad uses audio from Emanuel's White House send-off when he left the Obama administration last October.

Obama spoke about his decision to hire Emanuel as his top aide after the 2008 election and said that he "needed somebody at my side who I could count on to get the job done... He was not allowed to say no."

Obama also calls Emanuel "a great friend" and a "selfless public servant."

Emanuel, the front-runner in the Chicago mayor's race according to recent polls, called in another big gun for his campaign last week, former U.S. President Bill Clinton. Clinton came to Chicago to speak at a rally for his former senior adviser.

Emanuel's candidacy was in jeopardy earlier this week when the Illinois Appellate Court found him ineligible to run for mayor because he had spent most of the last two years in Washington, D.C. Illinois law requires candidates for municipal office to be residents of the city for a year prior to elections.

The Illinois Supreme Court Thursday overturned the lower court decision, finding that Emanuel was a resident. Emanuel said he got a congratulatory phone call from Obama after Thursday's decision came down.

(Writing by Mary Wisniewski, Editing by Greg McCune)

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