Who is Valerie Jarrett?

angelbaby 2012/08/12 21:03:58
By Edward Klein ~

Trying to figure out Valerie Jarrett’s mysterious hold on Barack and Michelle Obama is a favorite guessing game in the parlors and dining rooms of Washington. No other White House official in history has enjoyed such a unique relationship with both a president and a first lady, and yet the mainstream media have ignored Jarrett’s enormous influence over the shape and direction of the Obama administration.
Jarrett’s official title — senior adviser and assistant to the president for intergovernmental affairs and public engagement — doesn’t begin to do justice to her unrivaled status in the White House. She is Ground Zero in the Obama operation — the first couple’s first friend and consigliere, the last person to leave the Oval Office after meetings, and the only White House official who dines with the first family in their private quarters at night.
“Valerie is the quintessential insider,” one of her longtime friends told me during an interview for my book, The Amateur: Barack Obama in the White House. “She functions as the eyes, ears, and nose of the president and first lady. She tells them who’s saying what about who, who’s loyal and who’s not. She advises them about who they should see when they visit a city or a foreign country. She determines who gets invited to the White House and who is left out in the cold.”
In the White House pecking order, Jarrett has more clout than the president’s chief of staff. During the savage internecine warfare between Jarrett and Obama’s first two chiefs of staff — Rahm Emanuel and Bill Daley — Obama sided most of the time with Jarrett, a classic limousine liberal who believes that Obama was elected president in order to engineer social change. Ultimately, Jarrett emasculated Emanuel and Daley and forced them from their jobs.
She has also been responsible for much of the incompetence and amateurism that have been the hallmarks of Obama’s time in office. Indeed, Jarrett has been on the wrong side of practically every consequential issue to come across the president’s desk. Some examples of her bonehead advice:
● Though both Emanuel and political strategist David Axelrod warned Obama time and again that he didn’t have the votes to ram a comprehensive healthcare bill through Congress, Jarrett was among those who persuaded the president to ignore their advice and go for broke. The result: the hugely expensive, unworkable, unpopular, and probably unconstitutional program known as Obamacare.
● Emanuel tangled with Jarrett over her effort to put the prestige of the presidency behind Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics. Emanuel believed that Jarrett was working on behalf of her old boss, Mayor Daley, and his political cronies, who stood to benefit from the billions of dollars that would be spent on the Olympics. That idea seemed to be lost on the president, who went to Copenhagen to make an impassioned plea for the Olympics, and came back home with egg on his face.
● Jarrett gave her stamp of approval for the $535 million taxpayer-funded loan guarantee to Solyndra, the California solar company that went belly up. Jarrett had close ties to the George Kaiser Family Foundation, which controlled 35.7 percent of Solyndra. The foundation had made a sizable donation to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where Jarrett once served as chairwoman and where one of Obama’s best friends, Eric Whitaker, is currently executive vice president.
● When Jarrett pushed Obama’s proposal to require church-run hospitals and universities to give their employees free contraception, chief of staff Bill Daley secretly arranged an Oval Office meeting between the president and New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, the head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic bishops, who argued that the policy violated the principle of religious freedom. When Jarrett learned about Daley’s end-run, she went to the president and vented her anger. After that, Daley realized his days were numbered and resigned.
● Like Obama, Jarrett has a fundamental lack of respect for businessmen. In a typical blunder that sent shudders through the business community, she dismissed Tom Donohue, the highly regarded CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, as irrelevant, saying that she preferred to deal with “real” industry executives.
● Jarrett’s lack of judgment in domestic affairs has been matched by her inexperience in international and military affairs. She urged the president not to send in a Navy SEAL team to get Osama bin Laden — the one time that we know of when Obama failed to take Jarrett’s advice.
If Jarrett is wrong so often, why does President Obama trust her above all others and continue to run every decision by her?
In part, her influence stems from the fact that Jarrett is the president’s trusted watchdog. She protects the vainglorious and thin-skinned Obama from critics and complainers who might deflate his ego. No one gets past Jarrett and sees the president if they have a grievance, or a chip on their shoulder, or even an incompatible point of view. That goes for such high-profile supporters as Oprah Winfrey and Caroline Kennedy, who have been largely frozen out of the White House because Jarrett believes they would use the opportunity of a meeting with Obama to push their own competing agenda.
Despite her impeccable social credentials, Jarrett’s record before she went to Washington was spotty at best. After Mayor Daley made her commissioner of planning, she became embroiled in a massive screw-up in the city’s public housing revitalization plan, which cost Chicago millions of dollars in overruns. Daley fired her without explanation.
After she left city hall, Jarrett became CEO of Habitat Executive Services, where she earned $300,000 in salary and $550,000 in deferred compensation. She managed a federally subsidized housing complex that was seized by the government after inspectors found crime-infested slum conditions and widespread blight.
Throughout her career, Jarrett has failed upward. Today she is at the pinnacle of power as Michelle Obama’s closest confidant and Barack Obama’s political soul mate. Though she is the White House official responsible for “public engagement,” she has conspicuously failed to engage. I heard this complaint about Jarrett from practically everyone I interviewed — Republicans and Democrats, African Americans and Jews. They all blamed Jarrett for keeping the president isolated even from those whose good opinion he needed the most.
Add Photos & Videos

Top Opinion

  • Dale 2012/08/12 21:24:35
    How I long for the days of an open and ethical Administration as demonstrated by the Nixon Administration. Compaired, I mean.

Sort By
  • Most Raves
  • Least Raves
  • Oldest
  • Newest

  • ruthannhausman 2013/08/09 15:51:20
    Why is it that nobody seems to want to devote a paragraph in print to the enormous wealth that Ms. Jarrett and her family and friends have managed to accumulate through the various things she has "persuaded" Obama to do?

    Why has no one questioned the motives of Ms. Jarrett for some of the things she does?

    Why is it no one questions the absolute power that woman has over Obama?

    And why is it that the United States of America's highest office, that of the presidency, is stocked chock full of communists when the oath of office demands that the president of the U.S. will do all in his power to protect the United States and our Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic? Ms. Jarrett is an avowed, admitted communist. The very basis of communism is anti-American. Ergo, Mr. Obama has broken his solemn oath of office in employing Ms. Jarrett in the high position and giving her "aid and comfort" by following her counsel. Is that not "aiding and comforting the enemy" as he swore to NOT do?
  • Red 2012/09/07 07:14:04
  • Katie1234 2012/08/14 03:00:01 (edited)
    Obama's little minion. Hey.... Is that from the book The Amateur???
  • angelbaby Katie1234 2012/08/14 03:19:35
    Yes ~ Edward Klein
  • Katie1234 angelbaby 2012/08/15 00:18:58
    LOVE that book!
  • angelbaby Katie1234 2012/08/15 03:10:43
    Very enlightening, eh?
  • Katie1234 angelbaby 2012/08/15 04:03:10
  • Jerry 2012/08/13 06:36:29
    .............My belief is that She is influential lobbyist, that had some influence in getting this clown and His wife in Our White House, there may be more to this, but I'm convinced my answering several posts along the same issue, We got to mass together as registered voters and change the Presidency..........I'm not fully convinced though, by what has happened these last few days, ...........I don't like Romney's choice for VP, Ron Paul........
  • beachbum 2012/08/13 00:40:01
    Excellent question.........another America hater, tho.
  • Al B Thayer 2012/08/12 22:56:54
    Al B Thayer
    Everything about The Obama Group makes me wonder what they are up to and how they have gotten this far and messed up so much.
  • Dale 2012/08/12 21:24:35
    How I long for the days of an open and ethical Administration as demonstrated by the Nixon Administration. Compaired, I mean.
  • Demonic Rat Hunter 2012/08/12 21:19:02 (edited)
    Demonic Rat Hunter
    Like the rest of the obama's friends and advisors; America hating communists, illegal lovers, muslim lovers, and radical anarchists. advisors america hating communists illegal lovers muslim lovers radical anarchists advisors america hating communists illegal lovers muslim lovers radical anarchists valerie jarrett communist
  • XZQZQ Demonic... 2012/08/13 07:15:47
    This is what happens when there is virtually no substance to the principals.... they need and want a pit-bull to keep the nasties at bay.
  • kofp Demonic... 2012/09/07 07:58:11 (edited)
    Looks like a Khazarian fake Jew.

See Votes by State

The map above displays the winning answer by region.

News & Politics

2016/02/10 22:05:34

Hot Questions on SodaHead
More Hot Questions

More Community More Originals