White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett has come under fire from political blogger Carol Felsenthal, who says President Barack Obama should "fire" her by shunting her off to a harmless post such as his librarian.
In a column for Politico Magazine
, Felsenthal suggests that Jarrett should be immediately moved to the East Wing, where she can "hang out" with first lady Michelle Obama and the White House social secretary until a permanent new position is found for her.
"Give her an ambassadorship — or something — but for Pete’s sake get her out of the way of the hard work of governing that needs to be done," she wrote in the piece titled "Fire Valerie Jarrett."
"The fact is, on balance it appears that Jarrett has been more an obstructer than a facilitator over the past six years when it comes to governing, and it’s probably long past time for the president to move her gently into another role.
"Even today, nobody knows precisely what Jarrett does in the White House. What exactly do her titles — senior advisor to the president, assistant to the president in charge of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, the Office of Public Engagement, the White House Council on Women and Girls — mean?" Felsenthal wrote.
"From foreign trips to White House policy meetings, she is occupying a critical space that ought to belong to an operator focused on governing and government, someone experienced in the levers of the bureaucracy and playing on the world stage."
Felsenthal suggested that following the drubbing that Democrats received at the hands of the Republicans last week, Obama should follow in the footsteps of past presidents, who have dumped top-level staffers in a shake-up after such a shellacking in the midterms.
George W. Bush fired Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the chief of staff after the 2006 midterms, while Presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan replaced their chiefs of staff during the administrations’ low points. Similarly, George H.W. Bush axed chief of staff John Sununu, Felsenthal wrote.
"Jarrett is more than a mere senior staffer to this president, and of course she is not going to be fired outright," she said. "Not ever. If her role in this administration reflected reality, Jarrett would be called 'First Big Sister' to both Michelle and Barack."
But Felsenthal believes she has the perfect job for Jarrett.
"There’s a role that perhaps Valerie Jarrett was born to fill: The Obama librarian," she wrote, while pointing out that Bill Clinton’s library became the focus of his life during the waning days of his presidency "as he braved the humiliation of impeachment and the exposure of his sad sex life with an intern."
Noting that, like Clinton, Obama will be feel marginalized during his final two years in office, Felsenthal added, "So, the library. People in Chicago believe Valerie means to run it, whether it’s in Chicago — probably at the University of Chicago — in New York at Columbia University, one of Obama’s alma maters, or in Hawaii.
"The president could put her in charge, but alas, given her track record of failing upward, that might not help his endangered legacy either."
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