Valerie Jarrett: Obama's Consigliere
Senior adviser and family friend speaks softly, carries big clout
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 15, 2009 3:51 PM CDT
President Barack Obama speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, March 11, 2009. At left is White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett.   (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)
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(Newser) – Among the strong-willed Beltway rockstars that make up President Obama's White House, senior adviser Valerie Jarrett's style is strikingly low key. But while Jarrett lacks the Washington experience of Rahm Emanuel or David Axelrod, she makes up for it with a deft ability to manage big egos and keep outside groups in the loop, the Washington Post reports.

Jarrett has a long history with the Obamas as trusted adviser and friend—it was she who urged Obama to quash the Rev. Wright controversy by squarely addressing the issue of race. And while her broad policy chops are a force to be reckoned with, it is her understanding of her president that makes White House staffers sit up and listen. "She truly knows (Obama)," says Emanuel. "She can be there as a sounding board. She is a good gauge as how the president would want something to come down."