Obama makes surprise stop to boost Emanuel ahead of vote
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President Obama made an unannounced stop on Thursday to rally supporters of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s (D) reelection bid.

Obama visited a campaign office where volunteers were making phone calls in support of his former chief of staff and Chicago Alderman Will Burns.

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"Everybody knows he is passionate and he is tough," Obama said of the mayor.

"I'm glad he's my mayor," he said, "and I'm glad he's going to be my mayor for another four years."

The stop lasted only a few minutes before Obama was taken to his home in Chicago.

The president was in Chicago to designate a site in the Pullman neighborhood as a national monument. The trip was also seen by many as designed to give Emanuel the president’s imprimatur less than a week before the Democratic primary in the race.

A White House spokesman pushed back against the idea that the trip was simply to boost the mayoral campaign, saying that the plan to designate the monument had been in the works for some time.

Obama has already recorded a radio spot for Emanuel, who has been rolling out a range of endorsements from national elected officials as he looks to dodge a runoff.

Emanuel is trying to win outright in the primary next Tuesday, with a recent Chicago Tribune poll showing that his campaign is getting closer to crossing the 50 percent threshold he needs to avoid an April runoff.