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Ed Klein: Valerie Jarrett Pulling Budget Battle Strings

By Sandy Fitzgerald and Kathleen Walter   |   Wednesday, 16 Oct 2013 03:45 PM

The ongoing government shutdown and budget battle will haunt President Barack Obama and Democrats seeking House control in 2014, says Ed Klein, author of the political exposé "The Amateur: Barack Obama in the White House"  — and White House Adviser Valerie Jarrett has been pulling the strings behind the scenes.

"The mainstream media has played this as a Republican gambit, which in fact it wasn't," Klein , a journalist and New York Times best-selling author, told Newsmax TV. "From the very beginning it was the president's strategy to demonize the Republicans on the shutdown in order to win the House of Representatives during the midterm elections."

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And Jarrett and first lady Michelle Obama both enjoy an overwhelming influence over the president, Klein told Walter.

"The fact of the matter is that the strategy that the president is currently carrying out, which is the demonizing of the Republican Party, the effort to make the Republicans look like they are the bad guys in this whole thing, is the strategy that was devised and has been urged on the president by Valerie Jarrett, his senior political advisor," Klein said. "She has kept whispering in the president's ear, 'Stand firm, stand firm, and you're going to win.'"

Jarret's nickname is "The Night Stalker" because of her access levels that allow her inside the Obama family's private residence, reports The Daily Mail.

She's been close friends with the Obamas since they were in Chicago and back to the days when she worked for former Mayor Bill Daley and hired Michelle Obama for a job while she was still engaged to the future president.

And her advice to Obama about how to play the shutdown would not be Jarrett's first bad advice for the president, Klein said.

"Go to Copenhagen and try to get the Olympics to Chicago, it didn't work out," Klein said. "Pour a lot of money into Solyndra, didn't work out. A lot of what Valerie Jarrett has proposed in the past has been bad advice. This is bad advice too."

But Klein does not think that the president's strategy of turning public opinion against the GOP will work.

"This is all about spending and the United States is sick and tired of our ballooning debt and our deficit and this out-of-control federal spending," said Klein. "Now that the Republicans have finally gotten onto this issue, it's a winning issue for them and the president ultimately is not going to win when trying to get the sequester and the sequester limits reduced. I don't think he's going to win in terms of getting the Republicans to unconditionally surrender to all of his demands."

The public, though, is blaming Republicans for the shutdown, according to polls, and Klein blames that on the mainstream media playing the shutdown as a GOP gambit.

"From the very beginning it was the president's strategy to demonize the Republicans on the shutdown in order to win the House of Representatives during the midterm elections," said Klein. " But the other reason is that the Republicans overplayed their hand. It's clear to everybody now that the Republicans did not play this very well and now they're reaping the benefits – or I should say the rewards – of their ineptness."

But it's still "premature" to assume the deficit debate will change the political landscape in 2014, he said.

"We are a long way away from the midterm elections in 2014, over a year to go, and an awful lot can happen in between," said Klein. "What's happened to the crisis over Syria, the crisis over Benghazi, the crisis, all these crises have seemed to be Armageddon and then fade as the next crisis comes on?"

The president, though, needs control of Congress if he expects any of his second-term agenda to get through, Klein said.

"The president came into office in the second term realizing that he had a divided Congress and that he would get nothing through immigration, gun control, cap and trade, you name it, all of his left-wing agenda, unless he got control back of the House of Representatives," said Klein "That's his first goal. His second goal is to achieve that, is to then push through the way he did Obamacare."

But the plan could backfire, said Klein.

"The Democrats should be very careful about what they wish for because I don't think the Republicans are going to lose the House and they may even gain some seats in the Senate," said Klein.

Related stories:
Alter Blasts Valerie Jarrett, White House Leadership
Ed Klein: Jarrett Is White House 'Buzzsaw'

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