Chicago’s First Lady Excited To Show Off City To The World

CHICAGO (CBS) — She has shied away from the spotlight since her husband, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, was elected mayor, but for the first time, Chicago’s first lady, Amy Rule, was taking on a major role on Thursday, speaking to world leaders in Belgium.

Rule was with a Chicago delegation at NATO headquarters in Brussels, as officials and diplomats plan for the NATO summit in Chicago in May.

CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine traveled to Belgium to follow the delegation and has details on Thursday’s festivities to build up excitement for those who will be visiting Chicago in two months.

Ivo Daalder, the U.S. Ambassador to NATO, hosted other Brussels-based diplomats, as well as the visiting U.S. delegation, as they promoted the best Chicago has to offer as host of the summit. They brought an exhibit showing off the city’s history and hosted a mini Taste of Chicago to show off famous Chicago foods.

“Before NATO goes to Chicago, we thought it appropriate for Chicago come to NATO,” Daalder said.

Rule, who was leading the Chicago delegation, expressed her appreciation for the warm welcome they received in Belgium.

“You’ve been so welcoming and warm and I’m so looking forward to reciprocating when you come back to Chicago in May,” Rule said.

It turns out NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen already knows Chicago quite well and is fond of running along the lake.

He comes to Chicago because his son and grandchildren live in Springfield, Ill. – a fact that not even Gov. Pat Quinn knew until Thursday.

“I invited him to come to Springfield to sleep in the Governor’s Mansion, in the Lincoln Bed there, and he’s very interested in taking me up on the offer,” Quinn, in Brussels with the Illinois delegation, told Levine.

Brussels was the first lady’s coming out party, so to speak. Earlier Thursday, she’d also welcomed NATO guests to a mini Taste of Chicago, and seemed to be enjoying her new role.

Asked if she now knows how her husband Mayor Rahm Emanuel feels when he speaks to a crowd, Rule said, “I don’t think he feels the same way, but I’m thrilled. He’s a little more experienced, but I’m happy to be here and I’m happy to do it. I’m honored to be able to represent the city of Chicago.”

There was no question people at the party enjoyed the spread put out by a Chicago host committee anxious to build momentum for the upcoming summit.

They didn’t need much motivation to chow down on Chicago favorites, like deep dish pizza, cheesecake and Italian beef. However, Thursday night’s dinner, prepared by Chicago celebrity chef Stephanie Izard, was anything but typical Chicago fare.

“I think today people were eating pizza and hot dogs and stuff, and so we’re gonna go the other side of Chicago cuisine, which is all these fun restaurants with different flavors from around the world … and a lot of chefs with fun style,” Izard said.

The music on the other hand was all Chicago, from a variety of performers, including a rendition of “My Kind of Town.” And bluesman Lonnie Brooks offered a sampling of Chicago’s famous musical export.

But what Rule found during her short stay in Brussels was that the people of NATO didn’t need much coaxing to come to Chicago.

“To a person, they were so happy to be able to come to Chicago, and they’re really looking forward to it, and I think it will be a wonderful opportunity for our city,” Rule said.

The first lady seemed to weather her first assignment well. She wasn’t quite comfortable with speeches, but was a lot more at ease one-on-one; even, surprisingly, with reporters, who she’s tried hard to avoid since her husband’s election.

More from Jay Levine
  • G-Lep

    Did we pay for her fuk’n ball gown, too?!

  • John Taz

    She obviously doesn’t know a Rat’s ass about what she’s talking about. Is she excited to show off the area in and around the Englewood area or the Little Village or say that those area’s belong to other cities and are not in Chicago or to talk about the 10 killed and 39 wounded last weekend. Maybe she has her TV “piped in” and her husband doesn’t tell her about it. DENIAL

    • Civilized

      I don’t think the Mayor of NYC takes people to Queens when they come for a visit either. You act like Chicago is only made up of Englewood and little Village. Maybe that’s where you live but those are only sh!tty neighborhoods of Chicago, not the city as a whole. I don’t think San Fran’s mayor takes visitors to the Tenderloin district, I don’t think L.A’s mayor take visitors to Compton. Do you take visitors to your dirty bedroom when they come for a visit? O.k then, STFU! Every city on earth has areas where they wouldn’t dare take a visitor, it doesn’t mean they’re in denial.

      • Civilized

        Injustice huh? Typical loser, always crying injustice. Get off your lazy @ss and make something of yourself instead of crying injustice. It’s not my fault you live in the ghetto, you stupid, lazy p.o.s!

      • arjay

        Yeah,it does mean denial,stupid! You’re obviously the type that would hide the “bad’neighborhoods rather than see the injustice of them even existing and the idiocy of a politician to pretend they don’t. So maybe you should STFU! Civilized? Really!?

  • Larry Horse's Arse Horse's Arse

    Um, not that it means anything, but she’s really not an attractive woman at all. And she appears to not eat. She almost looks sick, she’s so thin.

    • G-Lep

      You’re right. Anorexic-looking, she is. Must be stressful bein’ married to Queen Rahm!!

  • scribe

    What was that nasty sore on her lip!!?

  • Just Axin

    Come on CBS. We love l es bia ns. Why are you censoring??

    • G-Lep

      Censoring? Here??

  • Money Talks, Laws Walk

    Bet she didn’t get a ticket when she pulled her circus wagon into one of them thar expenseive $2.99 a minute parking spots, or spend her last dollar paying the sales tax on trinkes for the gang, or dodge the bucket boys and panhandlers in the Loop, like the rest of us.

  • Hmmmmm!!!!

    Show off what???!!!!

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