CHARLOTTE, NC — Valerie Jarrett deftly avoided the looming shadow of a cutting New York Times article during three quick appearances here this morning.
Jarrett sat for two genial interviews, with Politico and Bloomberg, with a brief visit to the California delegation in between then fled the press on foot through Charlotte’s mazelike EpiCentre. She took no questions about the article that brought to the surface simmering questions about her role in the White House, with passages including:
“He’s got a real mess in the West Wing,” said one close presidential adviser. “Valerie is effectively the chief of staff, and he knows, but he doesn’t know. She’s almost like Nancy Reagan was with President Reagan, but more powerful.”
…“There is an inherent challenge in managing anyone, this is not particular to Valerie, who is a senior adviser and part of a structure, and also close personally with the family,” said David Axelrod, the president’s chief strategist. “Obviously it’s cleaner and less complicated if everyone is discussing things at the same meetings. But it’s a manageable problem.”
The Times also reported that her colleagues have branded her “the Night Stalker” for her habit of following the First Family home to the West Wing living quarters.