November 9th, 2008
02:02 PM ET
11 months 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. mark Kaplan

    Let's see, grandfather first black grad from MIT, father a professor at U of Chicago Med School, Ms. Jarrett Stanford B.S. U of Michigan Law, and just for added measure daughter Hardvard Law student

    Would someone please remind me of Gov Palin's pedigree, gve me a break!!!

    November 9, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  2. Tiffany in TX

    All you haters have started Obama bashing and saying he isn't appointing anyone that is African American. Valerie Jarrett is African American. She is the niece of Vernon Jordan. Check your facts before adding misinformed comments. She is very capable and qualified to replace if the Governor of Illionois appoints her.

    November 9, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  3. Mark

    Come on Barry, you can do better. Same ole politics... So much for change.

    November 9, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  4. Hayden

    That's nice that Obama wants his friend but it's up to the Governor. I would think that the appointment should go to an elected official who has been supported by the people previously. If Obama overreaches then when his seat is up in 2010 it could go Republican. Partisanship aside i think it's somewhat ironic that the election of our first African-American President will revert the Senate back to, probably, 100 white people.

    November 9, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  5. James

    Going to an expensive university and being a friend of Obama is not criteria for being a United States Senator. She is nothing more than a yes vote for anything Obama wants. The Senate doesn't need another rubber stamp.

    November 9, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  6. Irene

    Since when being a friend is a crime? What would you say if someone decent and fully qualified would NOT be picked specifically because h/h IS also a friend. As long as "friend" is not the only "qualification" for a position, you people should stop being nasty. H et al, it's not Obama's fault that you don't have friends in high places:-).

    November 9, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  7. Laura, Boston

    Although President-elect Obama would choose her as his replacement, it is not his decision to make.

    He has enough on his plate to worry about. The governor of the state of IL is the one who will make that decision. It should be made on merit on not friendship.

    Things aren't changing for the better if you get to put your dear friend who you know will think the way you do in office. That is cronyism!

    November 9, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  8. CanIcallyouJoe

    She seems like she has the credentials to replace him.

    November 9, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  9. fred

    are all democrats also lawyers? maybe that's why they're so good at lying.

    November 9, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  10. Obamaman

    You know what's funny? McCain lost. So get over it. Give Obama some room. Yes, he has promised change, and he will bring it. But don't think he's going to satisfy the needs of Republicans first. YOU DID NOT VOTE FOR HIM, WE DID. WE GOT HIM THERE, SO OUR PRIORITIES COME FIRST. Those who supported him will get FIRST PRIORITY. 53% of the country agrees with his judgment, that's why he is in the white house. So for the ppl who criticize, NOBODY CARES ANYMORE. The election is over, lets sit back and see what he does.

    November 9, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  11. Arlean

    I would like to applaude Ladybug for her comment. Great to know that some people know what there talking about.
    Keep up the GOOD fight.
    Arley

    November 9, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  12. Kevin

    and all republicans are buisnessmen, which is why they are good at taking peoples money

    November 9, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  13. FreeNLovIt

    Valerie Jarrett or Tammy Duckworth will be fine for me. It's okay for Obama to endorse and pick Valerie. He's suggesting it and there's nothing wrong. Now, if he calls up the Governor and DEMANDS it, NOW that's wrong.

    November 9, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  14. David

    Go for it BO, she's tight with the Iranians. That should balance his decision to pick Rahm......and she is black. A trifecta for sure.

    November 9, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  15. BWR

    Obama should have zero say as to who the govenor appoints. It has nothing to do with who Bush brought into the White House. That is totally separate. The senator will belong to the people of Illinois and not to Barry.

    November 9, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  16. Ken in NC

    Now let me see. Many Democrats would love to see this woman in the Senate so they support her. Many Republicans would not want to see her in the Senate because she is not one of them. It appears that one side will like the replacement while the other side will not and if the replacement was a Republican then Democrats would not like his choice. The way I see it someone is not going to be happy either way you go so do what you got to do Gov and make a choice.

    November 9, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  17. Independent white female patriotic voter

    I think Jarrett would be a grea replacement. Go for it!

    November 9, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  18. MARYANN Oswego IL

    Tammy Duckworth...should be our SENATOR...her and Dick Durbin love all of Illinois not just CHICAGO.......Chicago is in trouble we have only had 1 Senator for the last 2 years....CRIME is up...Taxes are skyhigh and new stores that opened last year are closing up shop...give us Tammy she cares about all of us and has done so much for our country ...You could tell she really cares.....Tammy Duckworth is respected by REBULICANS+DEMOCRATS....look at where at state is with our Governor ruining everything he touches...let's put Tammy in the Senate she has earned it!!!!!!!

    November 9, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  19. ChiDem

    No, thanks. As a Illinoian and Chicagoan I'm against it. This sounds too much like Illinois senate and legislature problems that beset our state. While Ms. Jarrett has been and will continue to be a valuable ally and friend of the Obama's she has not stood election by the people of the good state of Illinois and therefore would be looked as, and considered to be, a cronie for Obama. This is not change. This is more of the same. I urge Pres. Elect Obama to shoot down this trial balloon. Either Cong. Jackson Jr., or Cong. Schakowski both early, able and vocal supporters should fill out his term as Senator. If Ms. Jarrett wishes she may run face the voters and gain this seat on her own merits, not by appointment.

    November 9, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  20. Adam

    Most politicians are lawyers. That's probably why ALL of them are so good at lying.

    November 9, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  21. Kitten

    This woman helped run one of the most successful campains to date. I think yeah, that qualifies her and do you know the Governor of Illinois? OMG, yes, he needs direction. good grief. She is a major step up. MAJOR!

    November 9, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  22. Frank

    Jesse Jackson should be the pick. He is bright, young, and a fresh face to Washington. He would also be a symbolic pick because Obama is part African American too.

    And plus, the United States Senate needs to look more like the country. Only 6% of the current senate make up is of minorities.

    November 9, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  23. BM

    Sarah Palin who? I almost forgot about her the night of Obama's victory over the grumpy old man and the moose killer/

    November 9, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  24. Tiff of lithia springs

    Somebody may want to poll the will of the voters for which this replacement will be representing.

    November 9, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  25. Hugo-Tobbo Abdur Rahman

    I tought Jesse jackson Jr is probably the best candidate for this senate seat.
    Sincerely

    November 9, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
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