What do you get a guy who’s leaving the White House to run for Mayor of Chicago?

White House colleagues presented Rahm Emanuel with a dead Asian carp wrapped in Chicago newspapers at the morning meeting on his last day. fish

It was a symbol of two of the many political battles fought by the man who became President Barack Obama’s chief of staff — he once sent a dead fish to a pollster as a message of displeasure, and the other was his fight against the Asian carp threatening to invade the Great Lakes.

Our White House correspondent Steve Holland tells us that Austan Goolsbee gave it to Rahm at a senior staff meeting, saying, “I talked to the policy team and we wanted to give you a going away present—something to show how we feel about you but also shows we understand your new possibilities.  I was the natural go between—I voted for you all three times you ran for Congress and even in that first primary.  So here is your present.”

Emanuel opened it and said, “this is a dead fish!” And Goolsbee said, “to most people, it looks like a dead fish.  But to a future mayor of Chicago, it looks like a dead Asian Carp.  And you’ll be happy to know that it wasn’t easy to find one of these.”