Obama's Best Pal Keeps Him in Line

When Jarrett weighs in, prez listens
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jul 23, 2009 8:08 AM CDT
President Barack Obama walks with senior adviser Valerie Jarrett as they returned to the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, March 10, 2009.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – When the president has made up his mind, there’s one person who can change it: Valerie Jarrett, who acts as his “intermediary to the outside world,” Robert Draper writes in a hefty New York Times Magazine profile. “There are two people he’s not going to say no to: Valerie Jarrett and Michelle Obama,” says a state campaign manager. Every administration has one: she’s “The One Who Gets the Boss.”

That understanding dates back to their time in Chicago, where Jarrett advised the Obamas on every “major decision,” says Michelle’s chief of staff. Today, Jarrett is the White House’s link to big business, having run a multi-million dollar real estate development firm, and she keeps minority issues in the spotlight. “She’s like a sibling to me . . . I trust her completely,” the president says—even if she once thought his Senate bid was a “lousy idea.”