Emanuel was elected after the October 2002 joint Congressional resolution authorizing the Iraq War, and so did not vote on it.
However, in the lead up to the resolution, Emanuel spoke out strongly in support of the war, urging a United States' "muscular projection of force" in Iraq.
Richard Mintz, a Washington public relations consultant who worked with Emanuel on the campaign, spoke about the soundness of the idea: "It was that [extra] million dollars that really allowed the campaign to withstand the storm we had to ride out in New Hampshire [over Clinton's relationship with Gennifer Flowers and the controversy over his draft status during the Vietnam War]." Emanuel's knowledge of the top donors in the country, and his rapport with "heavily Jewish" donors helped Clinton amass a then-unheard-of sum of $72 million. Although he did not have an MBA degree or prior banking experience, he became a managing director at the firm’s Chicago office in 1999, and according to Congressional disclosures, made $16.2 million in his At Wasserstein Perella, he worked on eight deals, including the acquisition by Commonwealth Edison of Peco Energy and the purchase by GTCR Golder Rauner of the Security Link home security unit from SBC Communications. House seat in the 5th district of Illinois, previously held by Rod Blagojevich, who successfully ran for governor of Illinois.
On the night after the 1992 election, angry at Democrats and Republicans who "betrayed" them in the 1992 election, Emanuel stood up at a celebratory dinner with colleagues from the campaign and began plunging a steak knife into the table and began rattling off names while shouting "Dead! The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight later accused the board of having "failed in its duty to follow up on matters brought to its attention." Emanuel resigned from the board in 2001 before his first bid for Congress. His strongest opponent in the crowded primary of eight was former Illinois state representative Nancy Kaszak.
He graduated from Sarah Lawrence in 1981 with a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts, and went on to receive a Master of Arts in Speech and Communication from Northwestern University in 1985.