Calls are growing for the dismissal of Valerie Jarrett, one of President Barack Obama's most trusted and longest serving advisers, while a new report claims she has been keeping a secret enemies list of those who may have questioned the president.
"Valerie Jarrett is not above keeping a s** list — or as hers was titled, a 'least constructive' list," said a profile in the New Republic
by Noam Scheiber.
"One progressive activist recalls Jarrett holding the document during a meeting and noticing her own name on it, along with the names of others in the room. 'It was kind of an honor,' the activist told me.
"This was not out of character for Jarrett. The woman who once resisted [Rahm] Emanuel's commandment against rewarding bad behavior has often gone out of her way to suppress dissent among ideological allies and others who question the president."
The revelation will likely add fuel to the fire among those calling for Jarrett's departure, particularly in the aftermath of a disastrous election which often prompts the shake-up of top brass in an administration.
The profile also describes Jarrett as having a "legion of detractors," as a result of the influence she is seen to wield with the Obamas.
She is accused by sources in the article of putting friends in positions of power to maintain her own influence, acting beyond her authority to make decisions, advising the president on issues beyond the scope of her role, and taking a place at the table of virtually all high-level meetings.
She is also portrayed as Obama's yes-woman and the cause of his detachment from critics.
Political blogger Carol Felsenthal
said Obama should "fire" her by shifting her into a ceremonial role.
"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 a column for Politico entitled "Fire Valerie Jarrett."
"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."
Fox News' Howard Kurtz
said the growing opposition to Jarrett among those in the press should earn her the title, "scapegoat-in-chief."
"Reporters are getting tired of the story line about Obama essentially brushing off the [election] debacle. So the journalistic knives are out for Jarrett," he said.
"It's not hard to understand why. As a personal pal, Jarrett is easy to cast as the embodiment of the insularity of the White House."
The reports, however, have prompted some to defend her. MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski, co-host of "Morning Joe," has called the attacks "sexist," Fox News reported.
"Would these criticisms be leveled at men like John Podesta or Dan Pfeiffer? They work closely with the president. In fact, Ms. Jarrett was out of commission for the most important stretch of the campaign because of a serious medical procedure on her spine. So why is Valerie the focus of these ridiculous attacks?
"Perhaps it is because she is a woman."
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