UPDATED 01/18/11 11:04 a.m.

CHICAGO (CBS/WBBM) — One of Rahm Emanuel’s former bosses gave the mayoral candidate a very personal reference Wednesday morning in Chicago.

As WBBM Newsradio 780 Political Editor Craig Dellimore Reports, short of Emanuel’s lavish sendoff by President Barack Obama last year when he resigned as White House chief of staff, former President Bill Clinton’s endorsement is the most high-powered for Emanuel.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Craig Dellimore reports

Clinton headlined a rally for Emanuel at 11 a.m. at the Chicago Cultural Center, then was to join him for a fundraiser.

Emanuel worked on the Clinton presidential campaign in 1992, and then in the Clinton White House as a senior adviser.

Clinton’s upcoming visit stirred controversy last month when U.S. Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.), who was then running for mayor, said Clinton could jeopardize his relationship with the black community if he campaigned for Emanuel instead of a black candidate.

He urged Clinton, “Just be neutral (in this election.)”

Shortly after that, Davis dropped out of the mayor’s race and only one major African-American candidate remains, former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun.

Braun also complained last month about Clinton’s involvement, saying it amounts to an outsider helping another outsider in the race.

Clinton is a popular draw on the campaign trail and was in Chicago before the November election.

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