#1 Obama’s Valerie Jarrett: Often Whispered about, But Never Challenged by Rev 28.10.2013 15:34


Obama’s Valerie Jarrett: Often Whispered about, But Never Challenged

By John Fund

October 25, 2013 9:55 AM

President Obama’s aides went to extraordinary lengths to uncover the identity of a senior official who was using Twitter to make snarky comments about White House staffers. Suspicion gradually centered on Jofi Joseph, the point man on nuclear nonproliferation at the National Security Council. So at a meeting in which everyone was in on the scam an inaccurate but innocuous news tidbit was revealed. When Joseph used his anonymous Twitter handle #natlsecwonk to broadcast the tidbit he was caught and promptly fired. He was not fired for revealing any secrets, but for making disparaging comments about thin-skinned administration players ranging from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.

What apparently intensified the campaign to identify the “snarker” was a comment about Valerie Jarrett, the senior Obama adviser who has her own Secret Service detail and appears to exercise an inordinate amount of power behind the scenes. Joseph tweeted “I’m a fan of Obama, but his continuing reliance and dependence upon a vacuous cipher like Valerie Jarrett concerns me.”

Jarrett, an old Chicago friend of both Barack and Michelle Obama, appears to exercise such extraordinary influence she is sometimes quietly referred to as “Rasputin” on Capitol Hill, a reference to the mystical monk who held sway over Russia’s Czar Nicholas as he increasingly lost touch with reality during World War I.

Darrell Delamaide, a columnist for Dow Jones’s MarketWatch, says that “what has baffled many observers is how Jarrett, a former cog in the Chicago political machine and a real-estate executive, can exert such influence on policy despite her lack of qualifications in national security, foreign policy, economics, legislation or any of the other myriad specialties the president needs in an adviser.”

Delamaide believes the term “vacuous cipher” that was applied to Jarrett stung so much because it could be used as a metaphor for the administration in general. He writes that what “has remained consistent about the Obama administration is that vacuity — the slow response in a crisis, the hesitant and contradictory communication, a lack of conviction and engagement amid constant political calculation.” The stunning revelation that President Obama wasn’t kept properly apprised of problems with Obamacare’s website is just the latest example of how dysfunctional Obama World can be.

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#2 RE: Obama’s Valerie Jarrett: Often Whispered about, But Never Challenged by Rev 28.10.2013 15:42


Darrell Delamaide's Political Capital Archives
Oct. 24, 2013, 11:52 a.m. EDT

Tweeting aide was right: White House is vacuous

By Darrell Delamaide
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — As the White House scrambles to fix the badly botched launch of health-care exchanges, the bizarre firing of a National Security Council staffer last week offers further evidence of an administration in some disarray.

The dismissal of Jofi Joseph, described as a “junior” staffer though the 40-year-old was the point man on nuclear nonproliferation at the NSC, came after he was unmasked as @natsecwonk on Twitter, the author of a stream of disparaging remarks about government officials and politicians over a two-year period.

Joseph, it should be noted, is not accused of revealing any secrets or in fact of any wrongdoing. He maintained that many of his caustic remarks only echoed what insiders really thought, and he may well be right.

In any case, one of his widely quoted tweets, which expressed his concern about President Barack Obama’s reliance on a “vacuous cipher” like Valerie Jarrett, has introduced a helpful phrase into the Washington lexicon.

For many, the label for Jarrett, an old friend of the Obamas who is now a senior adviser in the White House, could well be used to describe the administration as a whole and Obama himself.

So opaque is the decision-making process in this White House that it is difficult to pin down the source of indecipherable vacuity emanating from it on occasion.

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