Politico published a very nuanced critique of Valerie Jarrett, a senior advisor to President Obama, with the equally nuanced title, “Fire Valerie Jarrett.” The piece, by Carol Felsenthal, isn’t very good journalism, since it mostly repeats and recycles the research of other people and doesn’t have any real new information or insights. But it would make for a great middle school book report, specifically a great middle school book report on Chuck Todd’s forthcoming The Stranger and the Ebook Obama’s Last Stand by Glenn Thrush from 2012. While reading the article I was struck by the tone, which reminded me of something I couldn’t at first remember. Then it came to me: Mean Girls, the 2004 comedy, starring Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams and Tina Fey about mean, cliquish, gossipy high school students. I realized that the article works perfectly when broken down into its cattiest pieces and set to GIFs from the film So, without any further ado, I present quotes from the article juxtaposed with Mean Girls GIFs. The headings are my words, by the quotes are all Felsenthal.
Someone needs to get her out of here!
“Almost since the start of Barack Obama’s presidency, people who have actual, real duties in the West Wing of the White House—the working, executive part of the government, that is—have been urging him to do something about Valerie Jarrett. Push her into the East Wing, where she can hang out with Michelle Obama and the White House social secretary, or 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.”
What does she even do?
“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?”
Her relationship with President Obama is really, really, really weird.
“If her role in this administration reflected reality, Jarrett would be called “First Big Sister” to both Michelle and Barack…
… Jarrett micromanages guest lists for White House events big and small, hangs out in the private quarters and often joins the Obamas for dinner, says little in meetings, but walks out whispering in the president’s ear and leaving nervous staffers in her wake… She vacations with the first family in Hawaii and Martha’s Vineyard. She is often the last one they speak to at night….”
I heard Rahm Emanuel couldn’t stand her!
“Take Obama’s first-term chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, who clashed early and often with Jarrett and felt “undermined” by her, as political reporter Jonathan Alter, the author of two in-depth books on the Obama administration, told me in 2013. Emanuel recognized early on that Jarrett was trouble…”
She’s kind of obsessed with Eric Holder, who is kind of weird because he’s like obsessed with racism. himself obsessed with racism.
“She reportedly pushed the president to give a personal favorite, Eric Holder, the attorney general’s job, then propped Holder up in the face of harsh (and, to the president, very damaging) criticism over controversies,” like, “Holder’s ‘nation of cowards’ speech, which accused Americans of racism…”
OMG! I figured out the perfect job for her!
“So if Obama is considering a shakeup, why not finally add Jarrett—the lady of the lofty titles, enormous influence on her boss and few actual accomplishments that have helped the shaker-in-chief—to the mix? Well, we know it’s not going to be a traditional firing, and it’s probably too late to give her an ambassadorship. But if Jarrett’s not going anywhere, how to safely occupy her—and keep her out of the way—until she turns off the lights in the White House on January 20, 2017?
… I do have an idea of my own.
There’s a role that perhaps Valerie Jarrett was born to fill: The Obama librarian.”