Perhaps, just perhaps, as implausible as it seems, the president hasn’t known of the scandals in his administration. The question is how is that possible. The answer is Valerie Jarrett, a name little known, yet one of the most powerful women in the world.
She is identified in a book titled “The Amateur” by Edward Klein published in 2012 by Regnery Publishing, Inc. As a best-selling author he has previously written about the Kennedys and Hillary Clinton.
Jarrett is identified by Klein as “the president’s powerful behind-the-scenes senior adviser,” his eminence grise. She was groomed in the dark art of politics by working as corporation counsel for Chicago Mayor Daley. In that office she fouled up the public housing revitalization, resulting in millions of dollars in overruns. She was fired by Daley.
As a result of career failures, her career path is defined as failing upward.
Her official responsibilities in the administration are defined as senior adviser and assistant to the president for intergovernmental affairs and public engagement.
As Obama’s equivalent of a consigliere, her regard for him is revealed in a statement she made to the New Yorker declaring he is “Just too talented to do what ordinary people do.”
The president was asked if he ran every decision by Jarrett and he answered, “Yep. Absolutely.” Such confidence has resulted in her having an all-access pass to any meeting she chooses to attend. That even includes the National Security Council. When Oval Office meetings break up she is the one who stays behind to talk privately with the president. She even slips into the Family Quarters to dine with the first family and goes on vacations with them.
Klein may help explain why the president can profess not to know things it would appear he should know with this summary of her authority.
“She protects the vainglorious and thin-skinned Obama from critics and complainers who might deflate his ego. No one gets past Jarrett and sees the president if they have a grievance, or a chip on their shoulder, or even an incompatible point of view.”
Klein notes a broad diverse cross-section of people in the administration say they blame Jarrett for “keeping the president isolated even from those whose good opinion he needed the most.”
One person identified as a former high-ranking member of the administration said, “She makes sure a lot of other people don’t have access. She keeps old friends and supporters away. If she can’t control you — what you’re going to say to the president and first lady, the issues you’re going to push — then you are not going to get in. Only the people she feels she can control can get in.”
It seems improbable that the president has been uninformed on the aforementioned and other matters.
If not, it appears he can thank Valerie Jarrett and the nation can blame her.
Consider this caveat. Even if the president didn’t know of the many abuses of his administration, he created a virus that is systemic in our culture starting with his State of the Union Address in which he disparaged views opposing his own.
If for ordinary citizens ignorance of the law is no excuse, neither should ignorance of what his administration is doing be an excuse for a failure by the president to be in charge of the executive branch of the government.
The Rev. Dr. Nelson Price is pastor emeritus of Roswell Street Baptist. Church.