Published: Oct 01, 2010 5:05 PM EDT
Updated: Oct 01, 2010 2:06 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) - Departing Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is saying goodbye to the White House and President Barack Obama.

Without specifically mentioning the Chicago mayor's race he intends to enter, Emanuel told Obama he's "energized by the prospect of new challenges." And he said he's eager to see what he can do "to make our hometown even greater."

Emanuel made the comments as he stood next to Obama in the East Room of the White House Friday.

The brash and aggressive chief of staff, in an unusual display of emotion, appeared to almost choke up as he discussed his family's immigrant background, and the opportunities he has been afforded.

Referencing his well-known penchant for profanity during his White House tenure, Emanuel also told the president: "I'm sure you've heard some words you've never heard before."