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Alter Blasts Valerie Jarrett, White House Leadership

Jonathan Alter, author of a new book about the Obama administration, says the White House is run like a troubled company with an inadequate CEO.

"They have a small circle, they don't have a chief operating officer," Alter said Monday on MSNBC's "Hard Ball with Chris Matthews."

He even likened President Barack Obama's relationship with senior adviser Valerie Jarrett to Prince Charles' doomed first marriage.



"Remember what Princess Diana said when Prince Charles had his mistress who is now his wife? She said, 'The marriage got a little crowded. There were three of us.' Well, that's what it felt like to people like Bill Daley and Jack Lew, anybody who was chief of staff in that White House."

"There’s a group that includes Valerie Jarrett, Pete Rouse — a small group of other people around the president," Alter said. "It doesn't work as well as it should have."

New White House chief of staff Denis McDonough has the title, but Jarrett has the power, Alter suggests.

"The problem with Valerie Jarrett's role is it's like the CEO putting his sister in charge of marketing. He calls her 'a sister figure, very close confidant,' and [she] probably shouldn't have all these line responsibilities. It's a blurring of lines."

Jarrett is not cut out for the formal position, Alter claimed.

"She would not be a good chief of staff. That doesn't match up well with her strengths, and there’s a lot of fear of her. She's not a well-liked figure," he said.

Alter's new book, "The Center Holds: Obama and His Enemies," was released Tuesday.



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Jonathan Alter, author of a new book about the Obama administration, says the White House is run like a troubled company with an inadequate CEO.
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