November 9th, 2008
02:02 PM ET
1 year ago

Source: Obama wants Valerie Jarrett to replace him in Senate

Valerie Jarrett is one of Barack Obama's closest advisers.
Valerie Jarrett is one of Barack Obama's closest advisers.

(Update: Two Democratic sources told CNN Monday that Obama wants Jarrett to serve in the White House, not the Senate.)

(CNN) - A prominent Democratic source close to Barack Obama confirmed Sunday that Valerie Jarrett is Obama’s choice to replace him in the Senate.

Jarrett is a Chicago lawyer and one of Obama’s closest advisers. She is also one of the leaders of Obama’s transition team.

Rep. Rahm Emanuel, the incoming chief of staff, said Sunday that he had not seen the report from Chicago’s WLS-TV that named Jarrett as Obama’s top pick, but he praised her as a “valuable ally.”

“People should know that Valerie Jarrett is - and people do know - she is a very dear friend of the president-elect and a valuable ally of his, not only prior to running for president, in his Senate life, and just personally for Michelle and Barack,” Emanuel said on ABC’s “This Week.”

The Illinois governor, Rod Blagojevich, will make the final decision on who will be Obama’s successor.

soundoff (202 Responses)
  1. Independent Voter

    Valerie WHO? Good old Chicago politics – down and dirty as they come.

    Obama hand picks his successor – no matter what the voters might want, like, say, Jesse Jackson, Jr., who actually has EXPERIENCE.

    Oh, but there I go again, making the same old mistake of thinking that experience should trump private paybacks in a political armpit like Chicago, Ill.

    Just the beginning, boys and girls. Alternatively, this groupie has been suggested for HUD. WHY?

    November 9, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  2. mb

    President Elect Obama said Friday, that this decision was left up to the Governor. I don't believe by the way Ms.Jarrett talked today that this is true. I think the press should take a vacation for a week or so and seriously stay out of the President Elects business.

    November 9, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  3. Patrick Era

    I will be disappointed should that be the case – that Ms. Jarrett is President-elect Obama's preference for his senate seat. It amounts to BLIND NEPOTISM, and opportunistic on the part of Valerie Jarrett – when does she start to be interested in politics? What makes her Senator Barack Obama's favorite for the job? In the unlikely event that she is picked, it is ALMOST certain that she cannot keep the seat in future elections for for the Democratic party. Above all, President-elect Obama must not be seen to be unduly yielding to his wife's influence on issues such this – the fact that Ms. Valerie Jarrett is a close and trusted friend of the Obama family does not automatically qualify her for the Obama senate seat job – again, it is simply opportunistic, and nepotism of the highest order. SHOCK!!!

    November 9, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  4. Lee

    I've got a crazy idea. Let's follow the laws already in place and leave recommendations for personal friends out of it. Change you can't believe is happening....

    November 9, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  5. California Gold

    She brings a lot to the table. A strong minded, intelligent, educated pro who would serve her constitutents to the best of her ability. I'm sure she would be at the top of anyone's list of possible appointees. At this point she is in a position where I'm sure she can cherry pick.

    November 9, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  6. MikeNC

    Well so much for Jackson Jr.

    November 9, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  7. JAY N.H.

    The Governor should chose who is best for Illinois not someone who is just friends with Obama. But definately a democrat.

    November 9, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  8. Ben Katz

    Chicago Machine Politics in play. Give the cronies the jobs, to hell with being post-partisan and for the people.

    November 9, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  9. Ron , West Coast

    I hope those right wing-wingnuts, don`t try to hold the fact that she was born in Iran against her oor President-elect, Obama.
    We know how they grasp at straws, since thats the only thing they can muster in the form of a platform....... " LOSERS "......

    November 9, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  10. Dan, TX

    Wow on the previous post I see people are still going at each other. Still some angry folks out there.

    Relax and live your life.

    With respect to Jarrett, the Gov of Illinois will choose his person, and it won't be Jarrett.

    November 9, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  11. Dan, TX

    I voted for Obama, but even I can see the strategy here. The whole point of leaking this is that Obama DOES NOT want her to be the replacement. Then when it turns out to be someone else, everyone will say – Obama did not get his way. In fact, the replacement has already been selected, it will not be Jarrett.

    November 9, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  12. prankeddddd

    nobody can confirm that it's the case already peolpe are drawing conclusion that's it's michelle's suggestion.
    give people a chance. the governor of illinois will follow the law. so chillllll

    November 9, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  13. Marcus

    Wow Obama, do not dissapoint the people who voted for you! We want the most qualified people to run things in Washington, not personal friends.
    If we wanted more of the same, we would have voted for Senator McCain!

    November 9, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  14. Bobo

    Funny so far he's picking all white people..

    November 9, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  15. Eyvonne Meyer Jonestown, Pennsylvania

    And this selection surprises people? Its kind of like people thinking he'll govern from the middle? That's laughable! People have to be smoking crack!

    November 9, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  16. Kona

    To Patrick Era,
    You are perfect example of a blogger that "shoots from the hip"– making claims without any factual basis. What makes you so sure that Valerie Jarrett would not hold onto her seat? She is an experienced, intelligent, effect attorney. She would be an amazing representative of IL, and they would be lucky to have her.

    Who cares if she's also a friend of Obama's? The fact that she's more than that, i.e. that she's an adviser, is proof she's competent, otherwise Obama wouldn't have hired her. You seem to miss the point that Obama hires competent people, period! His campaign is proof of that.

    Go be disgruntled somewhere else! And when you come back to this blog, come back with facts not your opinion.

    November 9, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  17. janeann

    Well, some of us did not expect to say "I told you so" this quickly.
    What did you think would happen by electing a man this ruthless, this
    cunning, this ideologically driven?
    We have traded one demagogue for another.

    November 9, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  18. Voter

    Only able to maintain his "President of all the People" image for FIVE DAYS!

    Then Chicago-Style politics kicks in. Oh, well, for all we know, five days may be a record.

    November 9, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  19. Kona

    To all of you disgruntled bloggers mad your person or party lost, please go away. You started in the primaries, claiming Obama would lose, and he won. You claimed in the general that he'd lose, that the American people are never going to elect Obama, and he won. You people haven't been right about anything, so clearly your judgement is failing, at best.

    Why don't you all (and I mean all of you, angry conservatives, PUMA folks still hanging on) go somewhere else where someone actually gives a sh!+ about your opinion, because clearly no one here does.

    November 9, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  20. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Too bad that under IL law, Obama doesn't get a 'choice', it's up to the governor. Obama gets no more say than anyone else, which is exactly no say under the law. The governor doesn't get the 'final choice', he gets the ONLY choice. Obama may be President-elect, but he's not the Pope appointing cardinals. I wonder how many other FOO's (Friends of Obama) he will try to cram down the voter's throats.

    November 9, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  21. Lynda Ridgefield, CT.

    If, she is the most qualified, she should have it.

    November 9, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  22. A US Service Man

    Just check out her wikipedia page.
    She will be awesome, if appointed.

    November 9, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    Have no "fear" people! His cabinbet will be the best! He will run it like his campaign, which was the best in US history. He will once again prove to people who he is! Don't comment, just sit back, be quiet and watch! You guys still haven't learned? Don't overlook, or underestimate this guy! This guy is serious!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 9, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  24. educated Ron

    Obama has very good judgement.

    They should let the voters decide. Have an election. The democratic way.

    November 9, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  25. caribbean admirer of OBAMA

    Give me a break, why don't you people relax and try to consume the real thing.
    The replacement of the seat of Obama in the Senate is a task and job of the Governor of the State.
    If this Governor beleives she's qualified for the job there isn't a soul who can do a thing against that.

    OBAMA FOR EVER!!!!!

    November 9, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
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