CHICAGO (WBBM) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel will celebrate the Independence Day holiday by watching fireworks Monday night with friends.

The upcoming presidential campaign is on his mind, but Emanuel sounds as if it will take a back seat to the problems facing him in his new job.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bob Roberts reports

President Barack Obama gave Emanuel a priceless endorsement the day the future mayor resigned as White House Chief of Staff to begin his campaign. Emanuel said he wants to see the President re-elected.

“Obviously I want to help the President get re-elected because I think he’s good for the country, he’s good for the city of Chicago and he’s not just a friend,” Emanuel said. “I think he has the right policies.”

But Emanuel said, in a phone interview with Newsradio 780, that he has important work to do here — creating safer streets, better schools and a balanced budget.

“Since I got into office, I’ve worked on all three of those fundamentals day in and day out — and I won’t let anything get in the way,” he said.

Emanuel chaired the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 2006 and was a top strategist when Mr. Obama was elected two years later, both times while seeking re-election to his congressional seat. He won’t be specific about a 2012 Obama campaign role, but don’t count him out.

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