To start, I don’t think that Valerie Jarrett is the President’s real problem. Everyone has that sycophantic friend that they call on to reassure them that it’s okay, when you know it’s not. Like when you ned someone to tell you that that red dress you bought that’s two sizes too small doesn’t make you look like you’ve been eating nothing but Krispy Kremes for a month, and that it doesn’t really matter that you had to walk home barefoot Sunday morning with your panties balled up in your purse. Not that either of those things has ever happened to me. But the point is, every girl’s got a friend with low self-esteem that helps them repair their psyche and pick up 8’s on Tindr.
Valerie Jarrett is that kind of person, either to Michelle or to Barack Obama. The apparent problem with Valerie Jarrett is that, unlike other people who have these types of friends, the Obamas seem to have given her real power, and have now reached a point where she exacts too much influence within their inner circle. And, consequently, instead of using her flattery to temporarily rebuild their self-image following a devastating defeat, they’ve started to believe her hype.
What makes me think this? Well, for starters, according to National Journal, Valerie Jarrett clearly borrowed her staff management skills straight from Sweet Valley High.
Valerie Jarrett is not above keeping a sh*t list—or as hers was titled, a “least constructive” list. One progressive activist recalls Jarrett holding the document during a meeting and noticing her own name on it, along with the names of others in the room. “It was kind of an honor,” the activist told me. This was not out of character for Jarrett. The woman who once resisted Emanuel’s commandment against rewarding bad behavior has often gone out of her way to suppress dissent among ideological allies and others who question the president. (A White House official says the document was prepared by a staffer acting without orders and that it is not a common practice.)
The problem is, of course, that Valerie Jarrett let other people see it. Burn Books are not for public consumption. They’re for private obsession, late at night, after you’ve had two pints of ice cream and a bottle of red wine and can’t sleep because the sheer terror at losing your friendships cause you to clip faces out of magazines and glue them over stock photos of happy families and Kim Kardashian’s rear.
Whatever the case, the President should probably clean house. Even if Jarrett is a policy advantage, as National Journal does argue, and her presence a throwback to happier, more forward-moving times, the President needs fresh blood in place to navigate the torrid waters of lame duck governance, or at least the final three stages of grief following last week’s losses. So far, he’s jammed at “anger.”
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