Report: Emanuel checking with Dem donors about a 2016 presidential bid

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is reportedly considering launching a 2016 presidential bid, but the former Obama chief of staff's office attempted to throw cold water on those speculations.

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According to The Daily Beast, Emanuel has discussed a possible run on the phone and in person with prominent party donors and fundraisers who are part of fundraising efforts for his 2015 reelection bid in Chicago.

"I heard there were some conversations with donors, especially during the inauguration,” said one unnamed "well-known Democratic politico," according to The Daily Beast. 

Another unnamed source said that "If people were encouraging him to run, he’d like that."

But others quoted in the story refuted the rumor.

Democratic strategist and former Bill Clinton aide Paul Begala said that he hasn't heard anything along those lines, though he talks to Emanuel frequently. Another Clinton-Emanuel friend, James Carville, said the same.

Speculation concerning the 2016 Democratic field has largely centered on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who some Democrats feel may clear the field if she chooses to run. All other potential contenders are reportedly waiting to see what she decides.

But if she decides against it, several other well-known Democrats could be contenders: Vice President Biden, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo or Emanuel himself may jump in the race.

Emanuel was in Washington on Thursday, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, meeting with Biden and members of the Illinois congressional delegation. 

He'll be helping Obama with his gun control push this weekend in Chicago and is expected to help the president raise funds for his nonprofit advocacy arm, Organizing for Action.

His work on behalf of the president with big donors and issue advocacy serves to boost speculation about his higher political aspirations.

And while Emanuel spokeswoman Sarah Hamilton told the Sun-Times he's not in the race right now, she didn't unequivocally shut the door on a future run.

“He’s not running for president,” she said.