Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Inside Advocate

Valerie Jarrett is the cover focus of this Sunday's NYTimes magazine in a profile by Robert Draper entitled The Ultimate Obama Insider. In many respects, given her role as the major adviser to serve as a link to distinct African American issues, concerns, leaders, and communities, she is, among other things, an inside advocate for black folks.

Draper explains that Jarrett functions as "Obama's de facto conduit to the business community." As the only member of the president's economic team to have run a multimillion dollar business, she has "street cred with the private sector" during a time that the administration is trying to deal with "a major recession." Draper goes on to write that
Jarrett also serves as the White House’s unofficial champion of minority issues. This may seem superfluous, given that a black man inhabits the Oval Office — until it’s noted that Obama’s inner circle consists largely of white males, same as it ever was. As a top adviser acknowledged, “At the end of the day, when he’s with his closest staff, she’s the only one who has a sense of what it’s like to have a different background from everyone else.”

We wrote about Jarrett in our post Advising Presidents back in November. We'll keep paying attention and see how her role as well as the coverage on Jarrett evolves.

No comments: