Who is Valerie Jarrett?
Valerie Bowman Jarrett was born on November 14, 1956 in Shiraz, Iran to African-American parents James E. Bowman and Barbara Taylor Bowman.
Her father, a pathologist and geneticist, ran a hospital for children in Shiraz in 1956, as part of a program where American physicians and agricultural experts sought to help communtize developing countries’ health and farming efforts. When she was five, the family moved to London for one year, later moving to Chicago’s Hyde Park in 1963.
Jarrett went to the exclusive University of Chicago Lab School before transferring to her mother’s alma mater, Northfield Mount Hermon (NMH), for the last two years of high school. NMH is a private coed boarding school on 1,565 acres of wooded campus bordering the Connecticut River in Western Massachusetts. Jarrett graduated from NMH in 1974.
Valerie attended Stanford as an undergrad, living at the African American themed Ujamaa House and earning a B.A. in psychology in 1978. She went on to get a Juris Doctor (J.D.) from the University of Michigan Law School in 1981.
After graduating from law school, Jarrett hired on as an associate at Ballard, Shepard and Pole Ltd. and spent 1981 through 1984 with the firm.
In 1983 Jarrett married William Robert Jarrett, son of Chicago Sun-Times reporter Vernon Jarrett. Jarrett has one child, a daughter named Laura, who graduated from Harvard Law School in 2010. Valerie and William divorced in 1988.
In 1984, Valerie moved on to Sonnenschein, Carlin, Nath, and Rosenthal, working in the firm’s real-estate branch where she remained for three years. Although she had practiced law for six years at two of the top law firms in Chicago, she wasn’t happy with private practice.
She then went to work for Chicago’s first African-American mayor, Harold Washington. After Washington’s death in 1987, she stayed on under his successor, Richard M. Daley and eventually became his Deputy Chief of Staff.
Ms. Jarrett has held positions as the Chairman of the Chicago Transit Board, and the Commissioner of Planning and Development for the City of Chicago. She also served as a director of corporate and not for profit boards, including Chairman of the Board of the Chicago Stock Exchange, Director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, and Chairman of the University of Chicago Medical Center Board of Trustees.
Jarrett’s mother, Barbara Taylor Bowman, founded a school, the Erikson Institute, along with Bill Ayers’ family. The school was funded by Ayers, Obama, and ultimately the 2009 “stimulus” legislation. Besides founding Erikson, Bowman was president of the institute from 1994 to 2001 and served as the school’s professor of child development.
One of the Erikson Institute’s former trustees and members of the executive committee was the late Thomas Ayers, father of Bill Ayers. Bernardine Dohrn, Bill Ayers’ wife, also served on the Erikson board. Obama and Bill Ayers once funded Erikson together. The Erikson Institute was among the first 35 school partnerships awarded funds in December 1995 by the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. Ayers was a founder of the Annenberg Challenge; Obama was hired in 1995 as the group’s first chairman. In 2009, Erickson was awarded just shy of $5 million from Obama’s so-called stimulus legislation.
It’s not entirely clear when Barack Obama first met Valerie Jarrett. It’s been reported that Obama and Jarrett met over 20 years ago when she was working in Chicago Mayor Richard Daley’s office and offered Obama’s wife Michelle a job.
Connecting any dots yet?
Frank Marshall Davis
But it’s also possible that they could have been introduced by Valerie’s father-in-law, Vernon Jarrett who, as a communist sympathizer, worked with Frank Marshall Davis, Obama’s mentor. In the late 1940s, Jarrett and Davis worked together on the communist-influenced black-run Chicago Defender newspaper whose founding editor-in-chief was Frank Marshall Davis.
At that time, Davis was a card-carrying member of the Communist Party USA (member # 47544) and his initial column in the Chicago Defender pledged to advance “fundamental change” in the country. It was in this capacity that Davis worked with Obama’s political ancestors, David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett.
Frank Marshall Davis was also under scrutiny by the FBI. He had a 601-page FBI file, and was placed on the government’s Security Index, which meant that as a loyal Soviet patriot, he would be immediately arrested if war broke out with the USSR. He was also being watched by Congress which issued a report listing him as being involved with a communist front group, the American Peace Mobilization, along with several other subversive organizations.
The same congressional report also cited the involvement of another Chicagoan named Robert Taylor who also served on the board with Davis on another communist front group, the Chicago Civil Liberties Committee. Taylor was Valerie Jarrett’s grandfather.
Those dots are beginning to connect themselves, eh?
Before we get back to Valerie Jarrett, let’s establish a little more about Frank Marshall Davis. He was introduced to Obama when Obama was 9 or 10 by Obama’s grandfather, who was seeking a role model/father figure to mentor his grandson.
Davis and Obama became close and remained so until Obama left Hawaii for Occidental College in 1978 at the age of 18, so Davis had plenty of time to exert his influence over Obama and, exert he did. To the degree that he is mentioned twenty-two (22) times in Obama’s Dreams from My Father. He is a consistent theme, appearing repeatedly and meaningfully in all three parts of the book (although he is referenced only as “Frank,” never by his full name).
He is part of Obama’s life, and by Obama’s own extended recounting, from Hawaii – the site of late evenings together – from adolescence to college to community organizing. “Frank” is one of the few names mentioned by Obama in each mile-marker upon his historic path from Hawaii to Washington.
Davis told Obama that black people “have a reason to hate white people” (Dreams from My Father, p. 91). He also advised the college-bound Obama to “keep your eyes open” and “stay awake” otherwise he would be “trained” against his own interests. (p. 97) Obama explained how he carried out Davis’s advice. “To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists and punk-rock performance poets.“
Interestingly, as Obama got closer to the presidency, he began to distance himself from Frank Marshall Davis. This is most evident in the 2005 audio version of Dreams, narrated by Obama himself, which excludes every single mention of “Frank.”
Poor old Frank went from twenty-two mentions in the original book, and even more via pronouns and other forms of reference, to zero – he just disappeared – he is mentioned no more. Our most transparent president evah, just deletes or hides any information that is “inconvenient” to him, and that includes people. I wonder how Obama would explain that exorcism, if anyone would ask.
Why did Obama cut the ties to the only real authentic black experience he ever had, his close personal relationship with Frank Marshall Davis?
She made him do it
Most likely, Valerie told him to do it. Davis’ communist ties could prove politically “inconvenient” to Obama. The key to understanding Jarrett’s power over the president is that Obama didn’t just envy people with normal parents and loving, successful fathers. He envied American blacks, especially those who grew up in intact black families, knowing who they were, comfortable in their black skin.
Valerie Jarrett reflects Obama in many ways. Like himself, Valerie looks more white than black. Her mother had three white grandparents, and her father was black. Like Obama, she lived in the Muslim world for part of her childhood, when her father practiced medicine in Iran. Like Obama, she is a committed leftist.
Valerie married into Chicago’s black elite, the top rung of African-American society. She went to Stanford, got a law degree from Michigan, and became Mayor Richard Daley’s deputy chief of staff, “the public black face” of his administration.
When Valerie Jarrett hired Michelle to work for Daley and befriended her, the Obamas gained access to the exclusive world of upper-class black Chicago politics. Valerie knew everyone whom it was important to know in black and Jewish money circles. She gave Barack entrée and legitimacy. She financed and promoted his ambitions for national office.
Finally, Barack had found a home in the warm bosom of Valerie Jarrett.
Not that Jarrett’s record in Chicago was anything to be proud of. Jarrett was known for her corruption and incompetence. Daley finally had to fire her after a scandal erupted over her role in misuse of public funds in the city’s substandard public housing. She went on to become CEO of Habitat Executive Services, pulling down $300,000 in salary and $550,000 in deferred compensation.
Habitat managed Grove Parc and another housing complex, both of which were seized by government inspectors for slum conditions. The scandal didn’t matter to Obama. The sordid corruption was all part of Jarrett’s Chicago success story – and Obamas.
The liberal media has let Obama off the hook with Tony Rezko. It has done likewise, but more so, with Valerie Jarrett, whose very business dealt precisely with Rezko’s housing developments.
Rezko was not only a personal friend of Obama but also helped raise money for Obama’s political campaigns. Rezko ultimately was arrested for fraud, bribery, and money laundering. In 2007, he was indicted on federal charges of fraud and influence peddling with the administration of disgraced Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich. In 2008, Rezko was convicted on 16 of 24 counts of corruption. Today, Rezko is in prison as a convicted felon.
In November 2008, Judicial Watch obtained documents from the Illinois secretary of state linking Jarrett to several housing projects (and thus scandals) operated by Rezko. “Like Barack Obama, Valerie Jarrett is a product of the corrupt Chicago political machine,” noted Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton. “And it is no stretch to say that she was a slumlord.”
And a later review found that thousands of apartments across Chicago that had been built with local, state, and federal subsidies – including several hundred in Obama’s former district – deteriorated so completely that they were no longer habitable.
Grove Parc and several other prominent failures were developed and managed by Obama’s close friends and political supporters. Those people profited from the subsidies even as many of Obama’s constituents suffered. Tenants lost their homes; surrounding neighborhoods were blighted.
Edward Klein, former foreign editor of Newsweek and editor of the New York Times Magazine for many years, describes Jarrett as “ground zero in the Obama operation, the first couple’s friend and consigliere.”
Every insider in Chicago told Klein the same thing: Jarrett has no qualifications to be the principal advisor to the president of the United States. She doesn’t understand how Washington works, how relations with Congress work, how the federal process works. She doesn’t understand how the economy works, how the military works, how national security works.
But she understands how Obama works.
Her true job is to make Obama feel proud of himself. When Obama looks at Jarrett, he sees himself as whole and good and real. He is no longer the fake black, the fatherless black child flailing around in a white world, tortured by the unfairness of it all. She fills the emptiness at the core of his identity. She admires and adores him.
Jarrett told New Yorker editor David Remnick that the president is “just too talented to do what ordinary people do.“
Pardon me while I barf.
In the White House pecking order, Jarrett has more clout than the president’s chief of staff.
She has an all-access pass to meetings. She shows up at the National Security Council, at meetings on the economy and budget. She stays behind to advise Obama on what to think and do. I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t help me sleep at night knowing that we have so much incompetency in those meetings.
Valerie Jarrett is the most powerful woman in Washington. God help us.
She has guided the president’s decisions on health care, the budget, the stimulus, the deficit, and foreign affairs. The president turns to Valerie Jarrett for definitive advice on all these issues. She has given him terrible advice over and over, and still he turns to her.
Insiders say that only once did Obama go against Valerie’s wishes. She had warned against his going after Osama bin Laden three times and three times he cancelled the mission, afraid of the political harm that would result if the mission failed. She talked Obama out of going after bin Laden in January 2011, again in February, and a third time in March.
In his book The Amateur, Edward Klein reported that Obama finally became more afraid of the political fallout if voters learned that he’d passed up the chance to get bin Laden than of disagreeing with Valerie Jarrett. For once, he finally ignored her and made the right decision.
One could argue that no other person on the planet has done more to help the Obamas get to where they are today. There is little doubt that she’s the power, critical influence and perhaps the actual decision maker in this odyssey of Barack and Michelle during their incompetent, vindictive, nouveau riche celebrity power tour, while the security and leadership of this country has become an irritating side job.
Some are of the opinion that Valerie Jarrett actually called off the military on the night of Sept. 11, 2012. She was known to have left Obama in the living quarters and had returned to the White House Situation Room where the attack in Benghazi was being monitored by Dempsey, Panetta and other top-ranking officials.
What she may have said and whether the president sent her is unknown. We do know the president retired for the night, and no rescue mission was launched.
Once before, Jarrett had called off the military for political purposes. She may have done it that night as well – an action that would answer many questions and may be what the White House is really hiding.
How important is she to Obama?
Well, important enough to receive Secret Service protection, which is very unusual for presidential aides. Democratic pollster Pat Caddell said in an interview with Breitbart, “Jarrett seems to have a 24-hour, around-the-clock (security) detail, with five or six agents full time,”
“The media has been completely uninterested,” Caddell said. “We don’t provide security for our ambassador in Libya, but she needs a full Secret Service security detail. And nobody thinks there’s anything wrong with this?”
Not “nobody” Pat, I think that it’s a travesty that Obama won’t protect our diplomatic mission in a hotbed of anti-American sentiment, but we can assign five or six agents full time, around-the-clock, to guard Valerie Jarrett.
There is something very wrong here … a Jarrett in the woodpile, for sure.