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Me for Law & Liberty: In “West Wingers,” Obama’s White House staffers prove there’s no such thing as too much sucking up to Valerie Jarrett–or the former president, or Michelle

August 20, 2019
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These are the first-person memoirs of 18 Obama administration mid-level staffers. But don’t get your hopes up for dirt-dishing about what it was actually like to work for the 44th President, or for his notoriously abrasive and foul-mouthed first chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel (lately mayor of Chicago), or for She Who Must Be Obeyed, a.k.a. “senior advisor” Valerie Jarrett, who not only had unlimited access to the President and First Lady but controlled and patrolled everyone else’s.

West Wingers: Stories From the Dream Chasers, Change Makers, and Hope Creators Inside the Obama White House is not that kind of book. You can open it at random, as I did, and you will read only that the President “earned” his role “by caring for others and listening to the voices of people who often aren’t heard”; that “the thing I loved about Obama was his crystal clarity, his infamous calm, his love and devotion to taking the long view”; and that Michelle Obama always exuded “calm and grace” and “allowed me to live in” the “realm of infinite possibility.”

No way especially will you hear a critical word about Ms. Jarrett in this book, where she is ubiquitous and (ostensibly, anyway) ubiquitously beloved. Among the bouquets for Jarrett scattered throughout was this from Brad Jenkins, describing one of her numerous bailiwicks, the Office of Public Engagement: She led a “scrappy team of community organizers.” She was “so moved by [the] courage and commitment” of the “Dreamers” (the illegal immigrants brought to America as children, for whom Obama controversially arranged deferred deportation in 2012 without seeking congressional approval), says Cecilia Muñoz, a La Raza veteran who became White House director of domestic policy. As a boss, Jarrett “worked hard to create a working environment that was sustainable for parents with children at home,” says Michael Strautmanis, who was her chief of staff.

Jarrett herself, from a blurb on the back cover of this book: It contains “deeply moving stories” that “show us how hope becomes real, sustainable change.”….

Read the whole thing here.

Posted by Charlotte Allen

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