Updated: 4:47 p.m. ET
There is a "decent chance" Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel will leave the White House as soon as October of this year to run for mayor of Chicago, a senior White House official confirmed this afternoon to CBS News Chief White House Correspondent Chip Reid, though the official stressed that no final decision has been made.
Emanuel has been considering a move since earlier this month, when Richard M. Daley announced that he would not be seeking re-election to the post of Chicago Mayor - a job the top White House adviser has long had his eye on.
And while President Obama hasto leave the White House and throw his hat into the ring, he emphasized that Democrats have "a lot of work to do" in the next couple of months, and that he didn't expect Emanuel to announce a decision until after November.
"My expectation is, he'd make a decision after these midterm elections," Mr. Obama said in a September 10 interview on ABC's "Good Morning America." "He knows that we've got a lot of work to do. But I think he'd be a terrific mayor."
In a briefing on Air Force One this afternoon, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said he was not aware of any updates related to Emanuel's status. "Rahm has not to my knowledge made a decision or indicated a decision - so I'm not going to rule anything in or out," Gibbs said. "He's in the process of thinking through what's best for Rahm."
Emanuel, for his part, has commissioned polls and put out feelers to test his political viability in the city. (He's also been calling other contenders in the race to let them know that "he's optimistic about his poll numbers," according to Chicago alderman Tom Tunney, who claims to have received one such call.
Nomination papers required to run for mayor in the Chicago elections must be filed by Nov. 22, 2010.
Lucy Madison is a political reporter for CBSNews.com. You can read more of her posts here. Follow Hotsheet on Facebook and Twitter.