The Empty Pantsuit
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Robert Draper's long New York Times article, The Ultimate Obama Insider, on Obama's most intimate adviser, Valerie Jarrett, is a dull but revealing read. Jarrett, who hired Michelle Obama to be a fixer in Mayor Daley's Administration almost two decades ago, seems to function in the Obama Administration as the President's Big Sister, the one staffer in whom he confesses his hopes and fears. Or something. It's all very vague.

Jarrett comes across as an intellectual nullity. Draper does a good job of getting Obama's inside circle of smart political hitmen — Rahm Emmanuel, David Axelrod, and David Plouffe — to rhetorically roll their eyes over Jarrett's powerful but vacuous influence over the President.

Her main concerns seem to be promoting the interests of affluent blacks such as herself and other member of the affirmative-actionocracy who make up Obama's social circle: rich Chicago blacks who have done very well out of racial preferences, such as his two best male friends, airport parking lot baron Marty Nesbitt and money manager John W. Rogers Jr. (For something more entertaining than Jarrett, here's a video of plucky little Rogers defeating Michael Jordan one-on-one at a $15,000 per head fantasy basketball camp).

The article starts with a boring but characteristic story of Jarrett talking a tired and annoyed Obama into wasting time making an appearance at the Pink Ice Ball gala hosted by the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, an African-American sorority notorious for its decades of using the brown paper bag test to decide who could pledge. (Michelle Obama wouldn't have passed; Valerie Jarrett would have with flying colors.)

Amusingly, Jarrett is considered within the White House to be an expert on business, because she is almost the only Obama advisor with business experience, having stepped directly from the Daley regime into a slot as CEO of a politically connected Chicago real estate development firm / slumlord.

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