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Why Valerie Jarrett Will be Sitting with Michelle

by Keith Koffler on January 24, 2012, 6:36 pm

If you want to know where the White House’s head is at, you need to take a look at who is sitting in the First Lady’s box tonight during the State of the Union, and who is not.

The only senior White House staffer who will have an honored position with Michelle is senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, President Obama’s consigliere from Chicago.

Jarrett and Michelle are the keepers of the liberal flame within the White House, the anti-moderation crowd who remind President Obama what his core convictions are when he gets sidetracked by White House dealmakers.

I'm in charge now. Photo by Keith Koffler

Jarrett has outlasted those with whom she has clashed, including departing Chief of Staff William Daley and former Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, both pragmatic Washington insiders.

She has emerged unscathed from the report in a recent book about her confrontation with ex-Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, in which she said – quite possibly falsely – that Michelle was unhappy with his handling of a matter involving something Michelle supposedly confided to French First Lady.

Gibbs, another Washington-based pragmatist, said he never took Jarrett seriously as an Obama adviser again. Soon enough after the event, he was gone.

It is already clear the White House will be running a campaign based on liberal values and in opposition to a “do nothing” Congress.┬áThe sight of Michelle and Jarrett together as he delivers his State of the Union speech is a clear sign that this will be a year of undiluted liberal orthodoxy.

One more sign? This will be the fourteenth State of the Union address I’ve covered. It’s the first one I can remember in which the White House director of legislative affairs, the person responsible for driving the president’s agenda in Congress, will not be in the first lady’s box.

Because this year, he won’t be needed.

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{ 19 comments }

rawheadrex January 24, 2012 at 6:46 pm

She will be sitting next to FLoTUS not even she will turn her back on VJ.

lc southern January 24, 2012 at 7:19 pm

She is the woman behind the man, not Michelle. I’m not sure she isn’t the POTUS and Barack is just the front man.

srdem65 January 24, 2012 at 7:25 pm

There’s always been speculation that MsJarrett was the king-maker (and marriage broker) for MrO. Her original mentoring of MrsO that put her in the Daley political machine, and her role as the keeper of all the secrets have certainly served her well.
The original group (Emanuel, Gibbs, et al) that propelled MrO into the national scene always seemed more politically savvy and less likely to push the hard left liberal agenda that MsJarrett and MrsO preferred the President to promote. We’ll have to wait to find out if they were pushed out or chose to leave early to avoid the political warfare in the WhiteHouse.

Granny Jan/Janice January 24, 2012 at 8:06 pm

You really captured ValJar in that photo.

Star January 25, 2012 at 10:59 am

…pretty squinty….

Wigglesworth January 24, 2012 at 8:17 pm

Interesting observation. This reminds me of when Obama was out on the campaign trail saying “Pass the bill, Pass the bill”, but there was no bill on the floor of Congress yet that could be voted on. It’s all politics.

Sara B January 24, 2012 at 8:33 pm

Her squeaky high pitched voice and well rehearsed talking points make my skin crawl.

Larry Clifford January 24, 2012 at 8:33 pm

Valorie Jarrett is the most dangerous woman in America, if she has had her way Osama Bin Laden would still be alive. Panetta ordered the raid while she was out of the office and Obama was on the golf course. Born in Iran she is sadly pro everything radical Islam has to offer and her influence on the President has made us a weaker nation.

Star January 25, 2012 at 11:01 am

Born in Iran? At least SHE can’t run for pres…something, anyhow.

ArnoldLayne January 24, 2012 at 8:35 pm

I just happened to notice on the reuters page the ‘most popular’ story is:
Romney returns show low tax rate; questions linger
and #2 is
Obama to focus on tax inequality in State of the Union
I don’t believe in media conspiracy
I don’t believe in media conspiracy
I don’t believe in media conspiracy…
{In the hit piece, there was no mention that the percentage he gives to charity is way way more than Obummer, and most D’s for that matter.}

Susan January 24, 2012 at 8:52 pm

Better believe there is media conspiracy. I posted a link to a Bloomberg article about Buffett’s Burlington Railroad benefiting from Obama’s rejection of Keystone on Keith’s banana republic article. The article is missing and the link I posted is dead. If that isn’t media conspiracy I don’t know what is…

Just2old January 25, 2012 at 6:58 am

The article is still there (scroll down). Your Bloomberg link still works.

Susan January 25, 2012 at 9:48 am

The article is there now. Last night Bloomberg was giving a 404 error.

Karol January 24, 2012 at 8:41 pm

Remember the days when people were black balled in society even if they hinted of communism?

MaryOhSoContrary January 24, 2012 at 8:44 pm

Me!Chelle and Valerie as the womyn plotting and controlling behind the scenes. I can’t decide if it’s a Shakespeare drama of Hollywood’s “Mean Girls.”

Susan January 24, 2012 at 8:44 pm

Won’t be long before these two turn on each other, if they haven’t already…

For somehow this is tyranny’s disease, to trust no friends. ~Aeschylus

anneinarkansas January 25, 2012 at 9:43 am

What a sight that Box was last night!
Monster Moochelle towering over Mark Kelly and the peculiar woman on the other side.
The Box itself set the tone of the campaign platform.

Star January 25, 2012 at 11:04 am

I think astonauts have to be small to fit into those spaces. Michelle’s dress reminded me of a comment my 94-yr-old mother (who suffers from dementia) made. She loves to talk about passing cars when we are out and about–and she saw a royal blue car and said, “That car is too blue.”

jaytrain January 25, 2012 at 10:07 am

Call it the Angry Black Woman’s Agenda . Imagine if the nation were being governed by that clerk at the DMV all attitude and power ,and it seems of a piece with the state of the union today .