Here's a current picture. Valerie Jarrett is 54. The White House Website states her title -- " Senior Adviser and Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement," and lists her impressive credentials.
She was Co-Chair of the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team, and Senior Adviser to Obama's presidential campaign. Jarrett is president, chief executive Officer of The Habitat Company, a housing complex, and has served in Chicago government as Counsel for Finance and Development, Chief of Staff for Mayor Daley, and Commissioner in the Department of Planning and Development. Other Chairman/Director jobs -- University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago 2016 Olympic Committee, Joyce Foundation, Chicago Transit Board , Chicago Stock Exchange, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, and President Obama's 2004 run for the U.S. Senate.
Her B.A. is from Stanford University in 1978; her J.D. is from the University of Michigan Law School in 1981.
From two articles about Jarrett in the NY Times, I've learned that Jarrett is a dear friend, who knew the Obamas before they were engaged, and helped bring them together. She's been involved with many political, social, and community activities that involved the Obamas.
In a recent Newsweek article, the interviewer (Jeffrey Bartholet), asks Jarrett about the Obamas reaction to the personal constraints of White House life, and asks about the President's adjustment to life in the bubble -- has the first couple picked a church yet -- does Valerie J give the president feedback about some of the decisions he's been making?
Answering Bartholet's questions, Jarrett carefully underplays her importance, but clearly she knows how they feel about life in a "bubble," and does give the President feedback.
She sounds knowledgeable, hard-working and supportive -- she seems like a very important element in the White House today.
While I was reading Jarrett's bio in Wikipedia, I came across Michelle Malkin, an author, blogger, who also has an internet network, "Hot Air." Malkin, a thirty-six-year-old black, has assiduously studied Obama's administration, and in her blog, Malkin says "in the past six months, Obama and his team have betrayed every principle and every promise that they have made."
Whoa! That's a brutal statement. I had to find out more about this woman.
Malkin has published four books. She is one of the "best-read national conservative bloggers." according to Technorati, an internet search engine that indexes 113 million blogs. It ranks Malkin's blog as one of the top 100 blogs of all types.
Michelle Malkin's fourth book, published July, 09, is titled -- "Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies" -- was almost instantly a #1 bestseller.
The title tells the tale. And like Jarret, Malkin has impressive credentials.
Chapter Two of her book attacks "First crony Michelle Obama" as "steeped in the politics of the Daley machine" and "is beholden to the type of hardball politics that Barack Obama says he is against."
On "Hot Air," Malkin called Valerie Jarrett "The second crony," and in other blogs, Malkin detailed three incidents where Obama made a decision, and changed his mind after Jarret pressed him. Malkin said, "Obama makes no decisions without the two cronies' approval."
In another blog, Malkin mentioned Valerie Jarrett's deteriorating slum housing complex, and noted that Jarrett oversees the White House Office of Urban Affairs, "home of pay-for-play corruptocrat urban czar Adolfo Carrion. (And Malkin, applying that term to Jarrett, said "Birds of a feather .... ha ha ha."
The Malkin blogs, broadcasts, and her book are passionately anti-Obama. Valerie Jarrett, an eye and ear and adviser to Barack Obama, whom Obama trusts is (according to Michelle Malkin) corrupt, and it helps Malkin prove that Obama is corrupt.
But I don't see Obama doing corrupt things. I see him working with unrelenting energy -- to fix, correct, revise, solve, and try to re-solve many, many huge problems.
Yes, Jarrett is one of the powers behind the scenes. But Obama talks to hundreds of other powerful people. I have to go by what I see. The decisions he makes, make sense to me. Problems are getting solved. That he can make compromises in order to be closer to achieving Health Care for the uninsured, and ending the war in Afghanistan -- that's a wise man doing what he can do to obtain his objective.
I'm glad he has a pal like Jarrett -- an experienced, knowledgeable legal mind, to hear him and help him evaluate what he's learning from many sources.
But Barack Obama makes his own decisions. What Obama is doing gives me hope that we can be America the Beautiful again.
What Malkin is doing with her talents, her intelligence and political ideas, is creating doubt, fear, anger, confusion -- using words like weapons to undermine the man we elected to do the job. Here is my message to Michelle Malkin -- use your words to help us get unstuck, and make progress toward better days.