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Watching the debate with Rahm Emanuel: High fives, big smiles and a few near yawns

Thais HudsMayor Rahm Emanuel watches first three Presidential debates home Chicago Alderman Michelle Harris between President Barack ObamRepublican Presidential candidate

Thais Hudson, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel, watches the first of three Presidential debates in the home of Chicago Alderman Michelle Harris, between President Barack Obama, and Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, I Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

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Updated: November 5, 2012 11:52AM

In a night focused on body language, the head nods, high-fives and ear-to-ear smiles of Mayor Rahm Emanuel during the presidential debate seemed to confirm his pre-debate, jump-the-gun assessment of hours earlier that “the president won.”

Emanuel, President Barack Obama’s former chief of staff, got comfy on a sofa at the South Side home of Ald. Michelle Harris (8th) as he cheered on his old boss with a crowded room of Obama supporters.

Emanuel was particularly tickled when Obama chided moderator Jim Lehrer for biting into his talk time. The mayor’s body shook with laughter when the president said: “I had five seconds before you interrupted me.”

Emanuel at one point invited a grade-school-age girl with beads in her hair to share his seat. Emanuel later tried to explain Medicare to her.

During the debate, Emanuel fiddled with his fingernails, pulled up his socks multiple times and appeared to stifle a yawn or two when Romney was talking.

After the debate, Emanuel said, “What I thought was surprising is Mitt Romney decided to switch positions so much, you know, now he’s for [economic] regulation, after 18 months of saying he is against regulation.” Mitch Dudek

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