Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Worst White House Aide : Valerie Jarrett’s perfect record . . . for giving bad advice.

The Weekly Standard reports:
What Valerie Jarrett does best is represent the Obama administration in microcosm. She embodies its insularity, its cronyism, its cluelessness. Born in Iran to a prominent African-American family from Chicago, she took degrees at Stanford and Michigan Law. She worked briefly as a corporate lawyer but hated every moment. So she decided to “give back,” which is Chicago code for cashing in. She campaigned for Harold Washington, Chicago’s first black mayor, and worked for him in the corporation counsel’s office. Washington died in 1987, but Jarrett remained in government, working for his successor, Mayor Richard M. “Richie” Daley, son of legendary boss Richard J. Daley. It was all upward from there.

Before long Jarrett stood at the intersection of private interest and public power. She became Daley’s deputy chief of staff and was later appointed to various boards and quasi-governmental agencies that award lucrative contracts—the Chicago Transit Board, the Commission for Planning and Development for the City of Chicago, the University of Chicago Medical Center, and so on. Her social standing, combined with her positions in government and her well-compensated seats on the boards of many companies, magnified Jarrett’s power. She knew everybody. Everybody wanted to know her.

In 1991, another disillusioned attorney, Michelle Robinson, applied for a job in Mayor Daley’s office. Jarrett interviewed her. The two women were instant friends. Before accepting the position, however, Robinson made an unusual request: Would Jarrett mind having dinner with her and her fiancé, Barack Obama? Jarrett accepted, and she has never been far from the couple since.
An article well worth your time.