November 9th, 2008
02:02 PM ET
10 years ago

Source: Obama wants Valerie Jarrett to replace him in Senate

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. Kate, Los Angeles

    I really want Jarrett to be a head of one of his departments. Valerie was on Meet the Press this morning and I was so impressed with her!

    She would also make an incredible Senator.

    Based on what I've seen so far, Valerie has a successful future in politics!

    November 9, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  2. Sen. Joe Lieberman

    For those who criticize the Republican Party for being exclusive...


    November 9, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  3. Sean Oliver

    It isn't surprising – nor is it "nepotism" – that Obama is a close friend of Jarrett. They're both intelligent, talented Democratic political figures from Chicago.

    Of course they're friends. They work on the same team in the same city.

    Who else would Obama favor for the job?
    A stupid, incompetent, Republican from out-of-state?

    Besides, it's ultimately the GOVERNOR's choice – not Obama's – so stop whining about this, okay?

    November 9, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  4. The Future


    Google Her, She has an interesting Bio.

    November 9, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  5. Dickie

    Choose all you want the final decision is the Governor's. And for God sake for once please leave race out of this. Give the Governor some breathing space, i have every confidence he will choose the right person for the job irrespectable race,colour, religion or gender. Its here people, the time to work together to achieve one common goal, the rebuilding of America. Can you dig it

    November 9, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  6. Don't Fall For the Okie Doke ... This is OBAMA, not typical politicians

    Before all the sophomoric comments begin about patronage etc ... think about two things ...

    1.) On Friday, Obama clearly stated it was the Governor's decision and offered no endorsement for ANYBODY.

    2.) President Obama ran a campaign with ZERO leaks. Do you honestly think that anyone that is truly INFORMED about what he thinks is talking to the press?

    November 9, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  7. Silly Bloggers

    Obama can make whatever RECOMMENDATIONS he wants. He is fully aware that the final decision is left to the Governor. He is probably also aware that Gov. Blogojevich is more likely to pick some unqualified crony of his own. Therefore, I am glad Obama made a SUGGESTION. There are a lot of people who he is closer to that he could have supported. I guess he could have pulled a McCain and picked someone who is completely incompetent, but might make him look good to some of his supporters. At least she has the credentials. I suppose the anti-Obama people will find something wrong with everything he does, regardless of how ridiculous their claims might be. Get over it.

    November 9, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  8. JOHN




    November 9, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  9. WH

    Bobo November 9th, 2008 3:01 pm ET

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

    Hey Bobo,

    Not that it matters one way or the other but Valerie Jarrett is the child of two African-American parents. Her great-uncle is Vernon Jordan.

    She's a very smart woman and I can only imagine that if it's true that he picked her; it's because she's up to the task.

    November 9, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  10. Tbone

    A bunch of whining loosers. Chicago-style politics is not different than Texas-style politics or Anchorage style politics. Not one of you had anything to say when Bush selected people he wanted. Obama will rise or fall based on the quality of his judgments and the actual performance of those he brings on board. It's his right to make and suggest appointments. The "country first" crowd who are focused on being critical before anyone has a chance to prove themselves have made their agenda clear: they'd rather see President Elect Obama fail than America succeed. Sad, pathetic, but predictable. These "patriots" are nothing more than bitter partisan hacks.

    November 9, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  11. Obamamama, chicago

    Despite your comments. and had you absorbed the subject of the article, Obama could endorse Mickey Mouse if he wanted. The Governor of Illinois makes the final decision as to who will fill the empty senate seat.

    November 9, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  12. rainy

    This has to be the stupidest system ever.

    Why should the appointment be made by the Governor. Seems to me the people should be the ones who decide.

    When a vacancy comes about a special election should be called to decide who becomes the next Senator.

    November 9, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  13. Don't Fall For the Okie Doke

    Sanity check on this story ... just how many leaks came out of the Obama campaign during the contest?

    Don't be so sure this is what Obama thinks...

    November 9, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  14. Sharon

    Fantastic! This woman is brilliant and as co-chair of Obama's transition team and long-time advisor, is definitely well prepared for the Senate.

    November 9, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  15. Logical Perspective

    Is it a coincidence that every single intelligible, knowledgeable, respectable comment posted on this thread is someone who supports Barack yet all the comments that lack substance, logic and reasoning are all people who are attempting to make irrational and thoughtless arguments against Barack? I'm sure the latter would find it to be a giant coincidence while the former smiles about it. 😉

    November 9, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  16. Isidoro from Germany

    we voted him because we trusted him! Let give him the time to work for the benefice of our futur! Go Barack until 2016!

    November 9, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  17. Douglas

    ok, a lot of reaction to what an 'un-named source' said. Of course Obama would be pleased if his friend, who is incidentally very qualified and close to him politically, was chosen by the Governor. That doesn't mean backhanders, payback, or any of the other dark delusions coming from some of these posters.

    1. Obama has said it's the Governor's decision
    2. She's obviously his friend of many many years, so of course he'd be pleased. It's not exactly news.
    3. She'd be a good choice if she got it.
    4. She's African-American, if light-skinned, so it's not as though the senate would be whites-only once more.
    5. She's not been chosen yet. Lots of other names in there. And Blagojevich can do whatever he wants to.

    November 9, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  18. Doris,Memphis,TN

    Valarie Jarrett would be a wonderful Senator, she is brillant! Women of America Barack is thinking of us! What a great President this man is going to be!

    November 9, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  19. jan

    Look her up on Wikipedia before you start judging her. She has all the credentials. She was born into an African American family.

    November 9, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  20. Toronto

    all the idiots that say obama should not choose. your right. hes not choosing. infact, he said nothing about choosing his replacement.

    The article clearly states that a SOURCE has said this, NOT Obama himself.

    November 9, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  21. Watermann

    Well, there are still dozends if not hundreds of people to be chosen by president-elect Obama or his administration and you folks have nothing better to do than to put each and every choice under your personal microscope. Don`t you remember his victory speech on Tuesday? Just trust this man for another 6 months or even 12 before you start to crucify him. Are you that small minded after all?

    November 9, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  22. Rich

    Obama is a master of surrounding himself with the best possible, winning people. If she is his choice to succeed him in the senate than im sure she will be more than qualified and do a terrific job. Just like who he selects as his cabinet...... he will make the right decisions for this presidency and more importantly for the country.

    November 9, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  23. Joan


    you need to tak a chill pill....YOU ARE SO NEGATIVE....all of your blogs are so negative against Obama...if you can't say anything nice...keep your mouth shut!!! Don't nobody want to keep reading your negativity...there are other things we need to be focused on!!!

    And like McCain wouldn't be vying for his croonies to take positions..(if he a won...LOL) GET OVER YOURSELF....SEEK THERAPHY...


    cnn please post...thank you.

    November 9, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  24. jm from sc

    WH, it does not matter what color the best person for the job is. Obama is not looking at color, he is looking at who supported him and who will work better with him. Remember, many females in the black cacus supported Hillary Clinton even after they knew she had lost. Having said that, Obama will not fill all of his positions with one race. it will be mixed. His administration will represent the United States as it should be. He will have males and females of both races as well as hispanics.

    Obama/Biden 08 and beyond.

    November 9, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  25. Spanky

    I thought Obama was going to leave that choice to our Governor. I know he said that in one of his speeches, leaving decision to Gov. Blago. Replacing a race with the same race isn't a good idea when you realize that most people in politics are white. So we can replace white with white and black with black? Silly concept. How about the best person for the job?

    November 9, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
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