Carol Felsenthal: Fire Valerie Jarrett

 jarrett-obama-stairs

“She has thrown her entire life into their cause, and she’s made it very clear that she would happily run in front of a speeding truck for them.”

— New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor

Carol Felsenthalcarol writes: Almost since the start of Barack Obama’s presidency, people who have actual, real duties in the West Wing of the White House—the working, executive part of the government, that is—have been urging him to do something about Valerie Jarrett.VJarret

“Very moving. But the fact is, on balance it appears that Jarrett has been more an obstructer than a facilitator over the past six years when it comes to governing, and it’s probably long past time for the president to move her gently into another role.”

— Carol Felsenthal

Push her into the East Wing, where she can hang out with Michelle Obama and the White House social secretary, or give her an ambassadorship—or something—but for Pete’s sake get her out of the way of the hard work of governing that needs to be done.

Now it’s really time to do it.

Obama Super PACS

Let’s stipulate right away that it would be unfair to blame Jarrett, the longtime Obama family friend and confidante, for the walloping that the president and his party suffered at the polls on Tuesday. And Jarrett will no doubt be needed in the weeks ahead to comfort her old pals, Barack and Michelle.

“Jarrett is more than a mere senior staffer to this president, and of course she is not going to be fired outright. Not ever. If her role in this administration reflected reality, Jarrett would be called “First Big Sister” to both Michelle and Barack.”

What happened on Tuesday almost couldn’t be worse for Obama personally—not just the Senate’s going Republican but all those governorships lost, including Illinois Governor Pat Quinn’s defeat in Obama’s adopted home state, even after the president and first lady came to Illinois to campaign for him. The morning after the elections, Democratspower-prestige-book and their top staffers were hopping mad, blaming Obama and, by extension, his staff for the defeat.

[Check out Carol Felsenthal’s book “Power, Privilege and the Post: The Katharine Graham Story” at Amazon]

But let’s also face facts—and expect the president to do so as well. We’re at that point in an already long-toothed presidency when things inside really need to change. In the days before anyone knew how brutally the Democrats would get beaten, politicians and staffers and pundits were urging a shakeup of the White House staff.

valerieJThis is, after all, a time-honored practice for an administration in trouble. Somebody’s got to take the blame other than president, who’s not going to resign himself. Past presidents who fared badly in midterm elections have not been shy about making high-level changes—George W. Bush fired Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill after the 2002 midterms and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld after the 2006 elections; Bush also replaced his chief of staff. Presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan at the same low point in their administrations replaced their chiefs of staff when they failed to perform up to expectations or fell from grace. George H.W. Bush did the same to chief of staff John Sununu.

Jarrett is more than a mere senior staffer to this president, and of course she is not going to be fired outright. Not ever. If her role in this administration reflected reality…(read more)

POLITICO Magazine

 


2 Comments on “Carol Felsenthal: Fire Valerie Jarrett

  1. […] Carol Felsenthal: Fire Valerie Jarrett | pundit from another planet (punditfromanotherplanet.com) […]


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