Valerie Jarrett probably isn’t the problem

posted at 10:31 am on November 11, 2014 by Noah Rothman

As predicted, the Democratic circular firing squad has convened in the wake of the historic losses President Barack Obama’s party suffered at the polls last week. The long knives are out, and Democrats are searching for someone, anyone, on to whom they can shift blame in order to absolve the president and the ideology he represents of culpability for this debacle.

Long a target of suspicion for those on the right, the left has begun taking notice of the president’s close advisor since his Chicago days, Valerie Jarrett. As is often the case in the wake of historic rebukes, the president’s allies are calling for him to shake up his staff and set a new tone for the final two years in office. It has been, however, the calls to jettison Jarrett which inspired the most passion on both sides of that argument.

The most aggressive call for Obama to cut ties with Jarrett was published in Politico Magazine last week by Carol Felsenthal. The Huffington Post contributor and Chicago Magazine columnist outright called on Obama to fire his advisor, noting that few know exactly what it is she does beyond insulating the president from constructive criticism.

“[O]n balance it appears that Jarrett has been more an obstructer than a facilitator over the past six years when it comes to governing, and it’s probably long past time for the president to move her gently into another role,” Felsenthal wrote in one of the kinder passages toward the long-time Obama advisor. “Jarrett’s questionable career inside the White House somehow symbolizes the opportunity cost of the Obama presidency—a wasted chance to make change.”

She suggested Jarrett fulfill her desire to aggrandize the president by serving outside the White House as the custodian of his presidential library.

Her direct attack on Obama’s friend and counselor prompted frenzied wagon circling among administration allies.

The New Republic’s Noam Scheiber composed an thoroughly researched piece in support of the claim that Jarrett is better able to advise the president on political matters than any other.

Scheiber paints a mixed picture of her competence in that role. At times, she it tactically inept, while at others she is a masterful manager of competing interests. She serves as a medium, balancing the concerns of liberal activist groups or soothing the wounded egos of corporate executives, according to Scheiber, acting as a firewall between them and the president. In general, however, Schreiber’s piece is probably one the president enjoyed reading. It closes with the contention that Obama and Jarrett are “reasonable people,” while their critics are not.

Schreiber’s defense of Jarrett at least contained some nuance. Other attempts to excuse the “Obama whisperer,” as The New Republic dubbed her, of blame for the president’s current political predicament were far more gauche.

“The one difference between Jarrett and others who have wielded the same kind of power in the West Wing is that she is a woman,” The Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart submitted. “Were she a man, her job would not be subject to endless ‘What does he really do?’ questions.”

“So why is Valerie the focus of these ridiculous attacks?” MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski wrote, after disclosing her personal “friendship” with Jarrett. “Perhaps it is because she is a woman.”

Both go on to offer dubious defense of Jarrett’s performance in office, but their arguments are marred by the insipid impulse to observe that the subject of criticism has a unique set of genitals. How this serves to undermine Jarrett’s critics, only they know. Perhaps they think Jarrett, among the most powerful people in Washington, can be cast as a victim of “sexist” attacks and is therefore deserving of sympathy. This is likely so, because the left has convinced itself that this sympathy is a transferable quantity; the individual denouncing invented sexism can also claim victim status when their arguments are challenged.

Where there is substance in the above augments, it quickly falls apart when disputed. “Would these criticisms be leveled at men like John Podesta or Dan Pfeiffer?” Brzezinski asked. Probably not, although not because they have male genitalia. Politico Magazine reported that Pfeiffer will join Ben Rhodes on the way out the door shortly after the midterms. Podesta only committed to staying one year in his role, and even then only to serve as a figure facilitating transition from the Obama White House to the Hillary Clinton White House. For those well-meaning critics of the Obama administration who want to see a personnel shakeup, it only makes sense to demand the departure of someone who is intent on staying put.

But even countering the notion that Jarrett suffers stoically amid prejudice unduly flatters Capehart and Brzezinski. This sort of dime store grievance peddling does not deserve to be considered analysis. There is, however, merit to the argument that Jarrett is not the problem in the Obama White House. Felsenthal’s contention centers on the notion that Obama’s behavior would change if he only had a new set of tough love advisors. That thesis is supported by scant evidence.

When Obama’s party took a sound thrashing at the hands of the voters in 2010, the president did embrace a bit of a pivot in the form of appointing William Daley, a business-friendly Chicago Democrat, to serve as his chief of staff. Daley lasted in that role for one year, and departed a year sooner than many expected. According to postmortem reports, Daley did not believe he could execute the task he was given.

“People close to the situation tell POLITICO that Daley decided to bolt nearly a year earlier than expected in part because he felt marginalized,” the well-connected reporter Glenn Thrush revealed. “He was still involved in most key meetings, but he had waning influence, particularly over political decisions made by Obama’s inner circle.”

Not only was Daley unable to navigate the White House, he was not especially adroit at working with Hill Democrats. “[Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid really, really didn’t like Daley,” Thrush reported. In the end, the president’s allies in Congress had their way.

If Jarrett were to be somehow subordinated to the position of presidential librarian tomorrow, there is no evidence to suggest that Obama would become the master of his own destiny, deftly moving to the center while ensuring his left flank remained intact. Those searching for scapegoats in Jarrett are really performing mental gymnastics to avoid acknowledging the obvious: Obama is the problem.

This post has been updated since its original publication.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

She serves as a medium balancing the concerns of liberal activist groups or southing the wounded egos of corporate executives,

Noah, it’s spelled “soothing.”

307wolverine on November 11, 2014 at 10:35 AM

I do not for a moment believe that Valjar is more than just a handler. She doesn’t make policy – she takes orders and implements them through her puppet.

bofh on November 11, 2014 at 10:35 AM

Who would run the government if she were fired?

d1carter on November 11, 2014 at 10:37 AM

Obama is the problem.

That goes without saying, but examining this dysfunctional relationship helps us understand what is wrong with Obama.

NotCoach on November 11, 2014 at 10:37 AM

To paraphrase When Harry Met Sally…, “Well, that symptom is screwing our country.”

calbear on November 11, 2014 at 10:39 AM

No. The problem is the guy who surrounds himself with azz kissing idiots as clueless as he is. You could actually drill deeper to the LIV’s who put him in that job.

Southernblogger on November 11, 2014 at 10:40 AM

If Jarrett were to be somehow subordinated to the position of presidential librarian tomorrow, there is no evidence to suggest that Obama would become the master of his own destiny, deftly moving to the center while ensuring his left flank remained intact. Those searching for scapegoats in Jarrett are really performing mental gymnastics to avoid acknowledging the obvious: Obama is the problem.

Noah loves him some Obamanation Administration Marxist totalitarianism. Yes, Valerie Jarrett is the problem, she is unelected, unaccountable and like Rasputin, the architect of all things Obama. Where Obama has failed, he has failed not in-spite of Jarret, but because of Jarret.

oscarwilde on November 11, 2014 at 10:41 AM

Noah, it’s spelled “soothing.”

307wolverine on November 11, 2014 at 10:35 AM

I dunno, I’ll hold off judgment. It might be one of those words like “solider.” Wounded egos sent south?

Lolo on November 11, 2014 at 10:41 AM

The vacuous cipher and Iranian agent Jarrett isn’t the problem?

She sure as Hell is part of the problem.

She is Obama’s essential enabler, a mommy figure and constant cheerleader. She keeps the needs of the narcissist’s flawed character fulfilled. She feeds his massive ego.

By all accounts, she jealously guards her position as his Rasputin and prevents other, saner heads from getting close enough to provide any useful influence on a fool with a talent for making the wrong decisions from pious motives that frequently do not bear close examination. Jarrett prevents those examinations from happening.

Like I said, she sure as Hell is part of the problem. Next to Obama himself, perhaps the biggest part.

novaculus on November 11, 2014 at 10:43 AM

Jarrett’s job is to tell The One how wonderful he is, how evil everyone he dislikes is (Israel, half of the American people, etc.), and how just everybody who is Good and True and Wonderful agrees with him.

Another word for this is “sycophant”. Or, if you prefer, splunge.

Get rid of Jarrett, he’ll just get someone else to fawn over him.

She’s not his Svengali, or his Rasputin, or even his Richelieu.

They’re all living in his head, where they have always been.

The One does not look for, or take, “advice”. He looks for agreement that he is right and perfect.

And, of course, worship.

Big difference.

clear ether

eon

eon on November 11, 2014 at 10:43 AM

Obama would no more fire Jarrett than Linus would get rid of his baby blanket. His personality hates face-to-face interaction with people when he doesn’t hold all the cards, and Valerie is his buffer not so much from Republicans, but from other Democrats and his own staff.

She gets her power through Obama’s constitutional powers as president, and Obama gets someone he trusts from his old days in Chicago to be both his soothsayer and his junkyard dog, buttering him up by feeding his ego on his own greatness and keeping outsiders he doesn’t want to deal with at arms length or more.

Obama’s personality is the core problem — his ego and his unwillingness to change course ideologically despite his party’s massive election losses creates the opening that, for him, makes a Valerie Jarrett necessary.

jon1979 on November 11, 2014 at 10:43 AM

Oh to only be a fly on the wall during their meetings. Much would be explained.

Deano1952 on November 11, 2014 at 10:44 AM

I seriously doubt she’s part of the solution, either.

TimBuk3 on November 11, 2014 at 10:44 AM

“The one difference between Jarrett and others who have wielded the same kind of power in the West Wing is that she is a woman,” The Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart submitted.

Wrong. The one difference is that Valarie Jarrett wants to fundamentally transform this country. You do not fundamentally transform something you love.

The problem is, the Founding Fathers put in a host of roadblocks to forestall such an invidious, inside attack.

Obama is the problem.

Obama is incompetent, only (sometimes) good at teleprompter speeches. Jarrett is malevolent.

rbj on November 11, 2014 at 10:44 AM

Obama being the problem has been known for a long time now. Because he is “black” cripples any and everyone from stopping him. This country is being held hostage due to PC madness.

MrsVoorhees on November 11, 2014 at 10:44 AM

Trying to remember when US Foreign Policy became overtly friendly to Iran and overtly combative toward Israel… Was that before, or after Iranian-born Jarrett took the right arm seat?

BKeyser on November 11, 2014 at 10:44 AM

She serves as a medium balancing the concerns of liberal activist groups or southing the wounded egos of corporate executives,

As opposed to northing, easting or westing?

Flora Duh on November 11, 2014 at 10:45 AM

Those searching for scapegoats in Jarrett are really performing mental gymnastics to avoid acknowledging the obvious: Obama is the problem.

Yes, Obama is the problem. But ValJar is also part of the problem. They are two peas in the same fascist pod. She’s basically Obama’s Beria (without the body count) or Bormann… his consigliere.

Athos on November 11, 2014 at 10:47 AM

The VOTERS are the problem.

The responsibility for this 6/8 years rolling unmitigated DISASTER is on the hands of every moron who showed up to vote for him in 2008 and 2012.

It is also partially the fault of the GOPe who made sure that the most establishment moderate candidate ran in both cycles (McCain then Romney) AND of McCain and Romney to not bother to run SERIOUS OPPOSITION CAMPAIGNS.

If you voted for Obama, you demonstrated such ignorance, such irresponsibility that you shouldn’t ever be allowed to vote again for any office above dog warden.

If even that.

ConstantineXI on November 11, 2014 at 10:48 AM

Wow! People hire people like themselves – at least style wise, Jarrett=Obama. The problem for Obama is that he hired her; he’s at the top; like it or not, decisions eventually are his. This has to be awkward – he’s always been able to have an excuse or blame someone else. I don’t think he’ll remove her.

Growing up unaccountable is a real handicap for anyone. Why? They don’t learn from their mistakes b/c they never made made mistakes – the decision and/or behavior was always someone else’s. Alas, the Peter Principle.

If Jarrett (with all her security apparatus) is the problem, I doubt she’d leave. She has power, lots of it.

As for the inconsistent, depends-who’s-doing-it, double-standard feminist excuses, if the leftist women, who drove the so-called feminist movement, stopped making excuses for members of “their tribe,” the world would be a better place. See below.

….Jarrett’s critics, only they know. Perhaps they think Jarrett, among the most powerful people in Washington, can be cast as a victim of “sexist” attacks and is therefore deserving of sympathy. This is likely so, because the left has convinced itself that this sympathy is a transferable quantity; the individual denouncing invented sexism can also claim victim status when their arguments are challenged.”

MN J on November 11, 2014 at 10:48 AM

You can’t fire Mother, no way Dog Eater pushes Jarrett out because she treats him like a small boy and he likes it.

I also wouldn’t be surprised if Dog Eater taps her from time to time in a broom closet, makes my skin crawl thinking about it but wouldn’t surprise me.

Bishop on November 11, 2014 at 10:48 AM

The One does not look for, or take, “advice”. He looks for agreement that he is right and perfect.

And, of course, worship.

Big difference.

clear ether

eon

eon on November 11, 2014 at 10:43 AM

Yep.

Mr. D on November 11, 2014 at 10:50 AM

Valerie is obama’s Dick Cheney, because he doesn’t have one.

She is the first female president, Hillary.

Schadenfreude on November 11, 2014 at 10:50 AM

Hopefully he’ll keep her. She has destroyed him good, so far.

Schadenfreude on November 11, 2014 at 10:51 AM

Obama is the problem

And YET, what have the (R)’s in Congress done to stop him? Some meaningless committee’s that have accomplished NOTHING.

The IRS continues it’s targeting, and still not ONE person has even been FIRED for ANY OF IT.

It’s WORSE than ANYTHING Nixon even DREAMED of doing.

And don’t even get me started on Benghazi. Also WORTHLESS.

And the new (R) Senate majority WILL rubber stamp Lynch as AG. Just get ready for it. The first charges of racism and sexism, and they’ll fold like a cheap tent.

Obama is the problem? The feckless, sackless, corrupt GOP is JUST AS BAD, maybe worse, since we’re stupidly relying on THEM to stop it.

They’ll do nothing of the sort.

Meople on November 11, 2014 at 10:51 AM

She writes the letters to her Iranian ayatollahs.

Schadenfreude on November 11, 2014 at 10:51 AM

She serves as a medium balancing the concerns of liberal activist groups or southing the wounded egos of corporate executives,

As opposed to northing, easting or westing?

Flora Duh on November 11, 2014 at 10:45 AM

An old internet adage is, “On the internet, nobody knows that you are a dog“… It’s is true of course, provided that you, as a dog, are bright enough to use a word processor program that includes a spell checker and a grammar checker, otherwise, it becomes obvious that you are a Noah Rothman pretty damned quickly.

oscarwilde on November 11, 2014 at 10:52 AM

In short the man that has assured us that he is not a “hard headed ideologue” turns out to be the hardest headed ideologue of all….
But at least he’s a legend in his own mind and an excellent liar…

ruttles on November 11, 2014 at 10:53 AM

Yes, she is. I mean, if you want to say “the buck stops here” referring to Obama or any president, then fine, but Jarrett is probably one of Obama’s biggest enablers, and we all know the way to fire up a narcissist like Obama is to enable him.

She’s just as responsible for the destruction of America.

Aizen on November 11, 2014 at 10:59 AM

WRONG!!

Your assessment is incorrect. I would tend to believe VeeJ does run the White House. There are creditable reports that have Jerrett in most, if not ALL types of meetings that Oblama is in.

There was a report LAST night that said she has taken seats away from experts to sit at a table or meeting. It was said that she has the ability to pick and choose any meeting to be at and more important.

It would stand to reason, she is the advisor that Oblama uses to listen to given the outcomes of the past 6 years. He doesn’t know HOW to LEAD and he listens to the wrong people or PERSON in this case.

What TEA leaves are you people reading…. geezzzz!
-west

mr_west on November 11, 2014 at 11:03 AM

Noah, Noah, Noah — everyone, no matter how conservative or liberal, understands that Obama is accountable for Obama.

But, some “fun” philosophical questions: Would an Obama surrounded by strong, non-sycophantic, accomplished realists be better than Obama today? Could such aides limit his deadly, stupid mistakes? Is Obama educable?

mockmook on November 11, 2014 at 11:05 AM

You can’t fire Mother, no way Dog Eater pushes Jarrett out because she treats him like a small boy and he likes it.

I also wouldn’t be surprised if Dog Eater taps her from time to time in a broom closet, makes my skin crawl thinking about it but wouldn’t surprise me.

Bishop on November 11, 2014 at 10:48 AM

Billy Jeff disagrees.

fossten on November 11, 2014 at 11:05 AM

ValJar – The Iranian…. is defacto POTUS

Obama is just a well dressed, poorly spoken, unqualified, unmitigated disaster in an Armani Suit. With shiny shoes and gleaming teeth.

ValJar – The Iranian.

Key West Reader on November 11, 2014 at 11:07 AM

Yes, Valerie Jarrett is the problem, she is unelected, unaccountable and like Rasputin, the architect of all things Obama. Where Obama has failed, he has failed not in-spite of Jarret, but because of Jarret.

oscarwilde on November 11, 2014 at 10:41 AM

The Rasputin analogy has gotten a good workout these last several days. However, I’ll point out that prior to Rasputin ever meeting Nicholas II, Russia lost the Russo-Japanese War and endured the Revolution of 1905 that ended the absolute monarchy. Nicholas had already been on the throne for 11 years. Nicholas was a bad leader prior to Rasputin and continued to be so.

To argue that Obama has failed because of Jarrett is to make the same mistake the Russians constantly did with their tsars: to assume that the tsars were good but misled by corrupt and feckless advisors. However, I go with the theory of “ye shall be known by the company ye keep.” Bad leaders select bad advisors.

dreadnought62 on November 11, 2014 at 11:08 AM

Obama has always had handlers around him. He needs them, because…Obama.

HiJack on November 11, 2014 at 11:09 AM

sure noah, and rasputin was such a nice guy too.
seriously guys, fire this hack writer.

dmacleo on November 11, 2014 at 11:10 AM

But, some “fun” philosophical questions: Would an Obama ?

mockmook on November 11, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Dear, dear. Whenever I hear the words “An Obama” I sorta think of dog mess in the grass… “Oops, lookout for the giant pile of Obama – don’t get any on your shoes”!

/I loathe this unqualified, undignified, uneducated, over compensated fool of a so-called man.

Key West Reader on November 11, 2014 at 11:10 AM

Agreed – her departure wouldn’t change the way Obama is or how he acts.

Still want to see her go.

natasha333 on November 11, 2014 at 11:14 AM

Obama has always had handlers around him. He needs them, because…Obama.

HiJack on November 11, 2014 at 11:09 AM

Because Obama can’t even handle going to the bathroom on his own.

ConstantineXI on November 11, 2014 at 11:16 AM

Because Obama can’t even handle going to the bathroom on his own.

ConstantineXI on November 11, 2014 at 11:16 AM

No, Mr. President, you DON’T hold your left thumb in your right hand while standing in front of the urinal…and you have to unzip….

Athos on November 11, 2014 at 11:19 AM

It would be interesting to see how Dear Leader does without Val…..

d1carter on November 11, 2014 at 11:19 AM

oscarwilde on November 11, 2014 at 10:41 AM

The Rasputin analogy has gotten a good workout these last several days.

dreadnought62 on November 11, 2014 at 11:08 AM

You obviously do not understand the reference to the Rasputin legacy. The Rasputin legacy is not that Rasputin influenced Nicholas II or his family, but that he obliterated what little was left of their popularity and got them killed.

In other words, the Rasputin legacy is one of an adviser so toxic and distrusted by the common people that he gets the leader’s killed.

oscarwilde on November 11, 2014 at 11:24 AM

We should not be helping the obamunists with where to purge the short-comings in their circle.
For as long as Jarrett remains shadow president, she and he will continue to fail miserably in their attempts to fundamentally destroy our nation. Lets not get in their way.

paulsur on November 11, 2014 at 11:25 AM

Like he would fire his brain. Run it by Valerie is a well known statement in the whitehouse. You don’t fire Lady Macbeth. Obama is too lazy to even think, he cannot do without his Wormtongue. Not possible. Hell she even controls moochelle for him.

Cliff by the Ford on November 11, 2014 at 11:26 AM

Those searching for scapegoats in Jarrett are really performing mental gymnastics to avoid acknowledging the obvious: Obama is the problem.

Obama is the Symptom.

LIVs are the disease.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on November 11, 2014 at 11:29 AM

mockmook on November 11, 2014 at 11:05 AM

I should have added “patriotic” to the list of qualities necessary to any aides who might move Obama in a positive direction.

mockmook on November 11, 2014 at 11:29 AM

Those searching for scapegoats in Jarrett are really performing mental gymnastics to avoid acknowledging the obvious: Obama is the problem.

Bingo.

TimSoCal on November 11, 2014 at 11:34 AM

“So why is Valerie the focus of these ridiculous attacks?”

Ridiculous?

Perhaps it’s because Jarrett is Obama’s chief ass kisser. She’s the one who labeled him “The Smartest Man in the World!”

Doesn’t matter what anyone tells King Barack. Jarrett is the last one to get his ear. He’d be lost without her.

GarandFan on November 11, 2014 at 11:35 AM

Noah, it’s spelled “soothing.”

307wolverine on November 11, 2014 at 10:35 AM

This is “southing”.

Shy Guy on November 11, 2014 at 11:36 AM

Perhaps it’s because Jarrett is Obama’s chief ass kisser. She’s the one who labeled him “The Smartest Man in the World!”

Doesn’t matter what anyone tells King Barack. Jarrett is the last one to get his ear. He’d be lost without her.

GarandFan on November 11, 2014 at 11:35 AM

She may end up getting arrested…. Now that the long knives are out by the MSM, and in an effort to protect Miss Precious (POTUS) I don’t think it would take much for them to reveal her past in Chicago, her relationships, her FATHER, association with Frank marshall Davis, her being a slum lord and bilking the taxpayers of Illinois out of billions of dollars, the fall of Chicago, etc.

Ya never know.

Key West Reader on November 11, 2014 at 11:41 AM

Have her resign and make her ambassador to Iran (the role she probably already fills).

albill on November 11, 2014 at 11:43 AM

In other words, the Rasputin legacy is one of an adviser so toxic and distrusted by the common people that he gets the leader’s killed.

oscarwilde on November 11, 2014 at 11:24 AM

Gotcha. I didn’t catch that nuance, and, interestingly, the Tsarina clung desperately to her dear, dear Rasputin.

dreadnought62 on November 11, 2014 at 11:44 AM

Rasputin was a symptom a an insular and dying way of life.

So is Jarrett.

The disease pulled down those with the symptom. In Russia they exchanged the Czar for the Commissar.

Lets get rid of the czar and not replace it as it is the mind-set that is the problem. We don’t need to be talked down to by an insular child of a President. And we don’t need someone to take up that concept after him. Firing Jarrett won’t stop the problem. Getting rid of those who think we are fit to be ruled is the solution.

You can’t fix stupid, but you can vote it out of office.

ajacksonian on November 11, 2014 at 11:45 AM

Have her resign and make her ambassador to Iran (the role she probably already fills).

albill on November 11, 2014 at 11:43 AM

“Resign”? From what? Babysitting?

Key West Reader on November 11, 2014 at 11:46 AM

The obvious answer is to fire himself. Biden wouldn’t be popular, but he wouldn’t have his name on ACA and he would be much less unpopular than Obama.

burt on November 11, 2014 at 11:48 AM

“I do not for a moment believe that Valjar is more than just a handler. She doesn’t make policy – she takes orders and implements them through her puppet.

bofh on November 11, 2014 at 10:35 AM”

Who is the puppetmaster is the big question. Neither Obama nor Jarret are smart enough to be behind the curtain.

georgekaplan on November 11, 2014 at 11:49 AM

Have her resign and make her ambassador to Iran (the role she probably already fills).

albill on November 11, 2014 at 11:43 AM

You’d have to castrate obama.

Schadenfreude on November 11, 2014 at 11:57 AM

The notion that a single staff person is responsible for most of the administration’s shortcomings over the last six years is rather far-fetched. Whether it’s ObamaCare or the VA or immigration or ISIS or Syria, it’s the president who is making the decisions and selling them. If the principal problem, as the president told Bob Schieffer on “Face the Nation,” was a failure to adequately communicate his policies, then the man with the bully pulpit must take most of the blame.

Wrong premise, Kurtz.

Schadenfreude on November 11, 2014 at 12:01 PM

Is MSNBC Sinking as the Obama Network?

Many critics, including me, have been trying to diagnose MSNBC’s declining ratings since it’s moved increasingly left. USA Today columnist Michael Wolff has an interesting take:

“MSNBC’s problem is almost exactly the same as the Democrats’ problem: It built its future around a vivid and dramatic hero who, unfortunately, turned out to be both opaque and conflict averse. MSNBC now has a lineup of ever-righteous and often sulky defenders of President Barack Obama, who seem, not just to conservatives but to many liberals, too, bizarrely tone deaf and lost in time…

“In character terms, the problem is making Obama sympathetic and compelling when he appears not to want to be either of those things. In dramatic terms, the problem is that he seems inclined to shrink in the face conflict rather than rise to it. Who really is eager to watch the Obama show?”

Schadenfreude on November 11, 2014 at 12:07 PM

Yeah obama is the problem, take away Jarrett though, and he collapses.

jake49 on November 11, 2014 at 12:13 PM

Valerie Jarrett – “After We Win This Election, It’s Our Turn. Payback Time.”

Time to Out Sinister Valerie Jarrett
http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/50684#.UKkHA5ZerDY.twitter

What the NYT’s 8,100-word Valerie Jarrett profile didn’t tell you
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/07/27/what-the-nyts-8100-word-valerie-jarrett-profile-didnt-tell-you/

Jason58 on November 11, 2014 at 12:26 PM

Without Jarrett, would Obozo still be snuggling up to the Ayatollah? $50,000 question…my guess is he wouldn’t even know where Iran is without her.

jclittlep on November 11, 2014 at 12:56 PM

“Would these criticisms be leveled at men like John Podesta or Dan Pfeiffer?”

Valearie goes on Date Nites with the Obama’s. Valerie has secret service protection.

Valerie is Obama’s handler. He can’t fire her because he answers to her.

AtTheRubicon on November 11, 2014 at 1:00 PM

An Iranian-born, multi-millionaire slum lord from Chicago? She sounds irreplaceable in this regime.

TarheelBen on November 11, 2014 at 1:11 PM

That goes without saying, but examining this dysfunctional relationship helps us understand what is wrong with Obama.

NotCoach on November 11, 2014 at 10:37 AM

What’s “wrong” with Obola is that he’s mentally ill and seriously in need of better, possibly experimental meds at this point.

Pelosi Schmelosi on November 11, 2014 at 1:16 PM

She serves as a medium balancing the concerns of liberal activist groups or southing the wounded egos of corporate executives,

I’m going to guess the word you were going for was mediator. Unless you meant to say she falls into trances and channels the spirits of, say, 35,000 year old men. Or is conducting seances in the White House.

Honestly, that mistake seems worse to me than the spelling error of southing.

Although both have the same effect: leaving the reader thinking, “Huh? What exactly is he trying to say?”

There Goes the Neighborhood on November 11, 2014 at 1:24 PM

Noah:

(1) “on to whom” should be “on whom”

(2) “an thoroughly researched piece” should be “a thoroughly researched piece”

(3) “she it tactically inept’ should be “she is tactically inept”

(3) “a medium” –> a “medium” is a person who claims to talk to the dead

Where there is substance in the above –>>augments,<> WRONG WORD

(5) “Where there is substance in the above augments,”

Did you mean “arguments”?

(I probably missed some additional errors myself.)

tanarg on November 11, 2014 at 1:30 PM

Correction of the above:

(4) “gauche” WRONG WORD

(5) “Where there is substance in the above augments,”

Did you mean “arguments”?

(I probably missed some additional errors myself.)

tanarg on November 11, 2014 at 1:32 PM

Personally I do think Jarett is part of the problem because she seems to serve as BO’s yes-man, enabler, mommy approval provider. She appears to confirm for him that he is the be all and end all and has to answer to no one. That being said – would BO become reasonable if she stopped protecting his sense of wonderful? Nah, he still would have no sense of real life. He’d just be unhappier and more frustrated.

katiejane on November 11, 2014 at 1:34 PM

Those searching for scapegoats in Jarrett are really performing mental gymnastics to avoid acknowledging the obvious: Obama is the problem.

No. The problem is the voter.

But, yes, Jarrett is pulling Obama’s strings. He’s not even smart enough to get into this much trouble on his own. He has never been anything more than a “pretty” face for the fascists behind him.

GWB on November 11, 2014 at 1:37 PM

Valerie Jarrett probably isn’t the problem

…and you should marry her…Noah!

JugEarsButtHurt on November 11, 2014 at 1:39 PM

leaving the reader thinking, “Huh? What exactly is he trying to say?”

There Goes the Neighborhood on November 11, 2014 at 1:24 PM

Unfortunately, we get that a lot with Noah.

GWB on November 11, 2014 at 1:40 PM

“So why is Valerie the focus of these ridiculous attacks?” MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski wrote… “Perhaps it is because she is a woman.”

Right. Nobody ever called for Karl Rove’s dismissal. Mika’s another leftist idiot. Always persecuted, never at fault.

DepthTested on November 11, 2014 at 1:46 PM

An old internet adage is, “On the internet, nobody knows that you are a dog“… It’s is true of course, provided that you, as a dog, are bright enough to use a word processor program that includes a spell checker and a grammar checker, otherwise, it becomes obvious that you are a Noah Rothman pretty damned quickly.

oscarwilde on November 11, 2014 at 10:52 AM

Noah Rothman writes several insightful columns per day. You write snarky insults on the internet. Noah wins.

GAbred on November 11, 2014 at 1:47 PM

In other words, the Rasputin legacy is one of an adviser so toxic and distrusted by the common people that he gets the leader’s killed.

oscarwilde on November 11, 2014 at 11:24 AM

Gets the leader’s what killed? I’m dying to know!

GAbred on November 11, 2014 at 1:51 PM

Noah Rothman writes several insightful columns per day.

GAbred on November 11, 2014 at 1:47 PM

In some people’s opinion… not so much. No one at HotAir is in more need of an editor than Noah.

GWB on November 11, 2014 at 2:12 PM

It doesn’t matter how adroit the adviser is, if the President is a petty narcissist, he’s going to make a dog’s dinner of the administration.

Immolate on November 11, 2014 at 3:23 PM

He went to Jared Jarrett

RL on November 11, 2014 at 3:28 PM

jon1979 on November 11, 2014 at 10:43 AM

Besides Jarrett’s hard-core Leftist ideology, your analysis of Jarrett is spot on.

Why,oh why, does she need the 24-hour SS protection?

onlineanalyst on November 11, 2014 at 4:24 PM

Rasputin was a symptom a an insular and dying way of life.

So is Jarrett.

The disease pulled down those with the symptom. In Russia they exchanged the Czar for the Commissar.

Lets get rid of the czar and not replace it as it is the mind-set that is the problem. We don’t need to be talked down to by an insular child of a President. And we don’t need someone to take up that concept after him. Firing Jarrett won’t stop the problem. Getting rid of those who think we are fit to be ruled is the solution.

You can’t fix stupid, but you can vote it out of office.

ajacksonian on November 11, 2014 at 11:45 AM

As always, well said and worth repeating.

Speaking of “czars”: What is the latest news from the Ebola czar? Is he under a cone of silence? Bicycling with Kaci and her paramour?

onlineanalyst on November 11, 2014 at 4:37 PM

Mika Brzezinski asks, “So why is Valerie the focus of these ridiculous attacks?” and suggests, “Perhaps it is because she is a woman.”

Brzezinski might want to consider that she has a gig on MSNBC only because her father is former Jimmy Carter advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski…

Colony14 on November 11, 2014 at 4:48 PM

I’ll bet she is the one who turns the lights out when they leave the White House for the last time.
I wonder if Valerie Jarrett realizes there are only 800 day left with her 24/7 SS protection?
Who knows, being a perfect fit, maybe she’ll get hired to run MSNBC.

Missilengr on November 11, 2014 at 5:06 PM

This is “southing”.

Shy Guy on November 11, 2014 at 11:36 AM

Good catch.

AesopFan on November 11, 2014 at 5:15 PM

The racist speaketh

Schadenfreude on November 11, 2014 at 5:29 PM

“So why is Valerie the focus of these ridiculous attacks?”

Poor Valerie Jarrett. Her relationship with fellow Democrats just hasn’t been the same since President Obama’s friend, Henry Louis Gates Jr. exposed the fact that Valerie Jarrett has more European ancestry than Sub Saharan African ancestry on his “Finding Your Roots TV show 2 weeks ago.

According to the genetic testing Henry Louis Gates Jr. did, Valerie Jarrett is:

49% European
46% Sub-Saharan African
5% Asian-Native American

So now that Democrats know Valerie is “not black enough,” according to politically correct rules, it is perfectly OK to criticize her.

For more info and/or to watch the full episode online, click on this link:

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/finding-your-roots/profiles/valerie-jarrett/

BTW – For those who are trying to remember why Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s name sounds familiar…He is President Obama’s Professor friend from Harvard who we all met during the “Police acted stupidly” incident.

wren on November 11, 2014 at 5:54 PM

Who scares you more Valerie Jarrett or Justice Kagan?

gxbhkt on November 11, 2014 at 7:07 PM

Who scares you more Valerie Jarrett or Justice Kagan?

gxbhkt on November 11, 2014 at 7:07 PM

Valerie Jarrett. That face could give this poor boy a seizure. Kagan? I just have an urge to vomit.

claudius on November 11, 2014 at 9:22 PM

If obama and billie jean king mated..the offspring would like her

elvis lives on November 11, 2014 at 10:31 PM