Valerie Jarrett: Obama's Sounding Board

Senior adviser is even-keeled, fiercely loyal, straight-talking
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 12, 2008 10:11 AM CDT
Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., center, and his senior advisor Valerie Jarrett, left, sit in a campaign train near Wayne, Pa., Saturday, April 19, 2008.    (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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(Newser) – One of the strongest voices in Barack Obama's camp is that of longtime friend and confidante Valerie Jarrett, the Wall Street Journal writes. The woman who was once Michelle Obama's boss is now "practically a sister" to the couple, and her political savvy has proved invaluable to Obama's campaign—though Jarrett is hardly likely to make such a spotlight-grabbing claim herself.

Though Obama has said "I don't make any major decisions without asking her about them first," Jarrett downplays her contributions to his campaign. The lawyer, who has bridged racial and class divides during her career and is now working to bring the 2016 Olympics to her native Chicago, could be poised to assume a high-level position in an Obama administration.