The sun is just rising as Rahm Emanuel takes to the sidewalk under the Brown Line stop at Addison. He’ll be there for over an hour, his gloveless hands raw from the cold, greeting the commuters dashing for their trains.

He’s there, he says, because he wants to meet the constituents of the Fifth Congressional District. Actually, he’s there because he has to be. Emanuel—a legendary wheeler-dealer, one of President Clinton’s chief political operatives throughout the 90s—has come out of the back room to run for Congress in the March 19 Democratic primary. And that means gripping and grinning and hanging out with the hoi polloi. “It’s not so bad,” says Emanuel. “I’m getting into this. Really. I love meeting the people.”

Now that Rahm Emanuel seems to lead all Chicago mayoral candidates in speculation, now’s a good time to look back at Ben Joravsky’s 2002 profile, written when the Clinton administration vet had returned to Chicago to run for Blago’s old seat.

Update: “The Case Against Rahm,”, by Micah Maidenberg and Adam Doster at Progress Illinois, is worth a read.