October 27, 2013
The President has a 'Valerie' problem
Silvio Canto, Jr.
Maybe President Obama walks around the Oval Office singing the old Monkees' tune: "There's a girl I know who makes me feel so good.
And I wouldn't live without her, even if I could.
They call her Valeri. I love her Valeri."
We understand President Obama's desire to have a loyal subordinate, a White Sox fan and someone close to Mrs Obama. However, it may be time to look for someone who is more qualified and who understands that the federal government is a very complex enterprise and not a one-party town like Chicago.
John Fund has a good post about Lady Valerie:
"Jarrett, an old Chicago friend of both Barack and Michelle Obama, appears to exercise such extraordinary influence she is sometimes quietly referred to as "Rasputin" on Capitol Hill, a reference to the mystical monk who held sway over Russia's Czar Nicholas as he increasingly lost touch with reality during World War I.
Darrell Delamaide, a columnist for Dow Jones's MarketWatch, says that "what has baffled many observers is how Jarrett, a former cog in the Chicago political machine and a real-estate executive, can exert such influence on policy despite her lack of qualifications in national security, foreign policy, economics, legislation or any of the other myriad specialties the president needs in an adviser."
Delamaide believes the term "vacuous cipher" that was applied to Jarrett stung so much because it could be used as a metaphor for the administration in general.
He writes that what "has remained consistent about the Obama administration is that vacuity - the slow response in a crisis, the hesitant and contradictory communication, a lack of conviction and engagement amid constant political calculation."
The stunning revelation that President Obama wasn't kept properly apprised of problems with Obamacare's website is just the latest example of how dysfunctional Obama World can be.
Whether Jarrett's influence is all too real or exaggerated is unknowable. What is known is the extent to which she has long been a peerless enabler of Barack Obama's inflated opinion of himself. "
At the end of the day, President Obama is responsible for his managerial style. However, a president has to surround himself with very strong people who are competent as well as loyal.
Jarrett may be very loyal and willing to give her life for President Obama. Unfortunately, President Obama needs a different kind of "gate keeper."
He needs one who lets "bad news" walk into the Oval Office.
For example, was Valerie Jarrett aware of that the website was not properly tested? Or that the problems were a lot deeper than a "glitch" here or there?
Even today, does Valerie Jarrett know the full extent of the mess, as Ezra Klein reported.
Why is President Obama always the last one to know? My good guess is Valerie.