President Obama’s closest adviser said he’s “more confident” going into his second term and “as energized as I’ve ever seen him about moving our country forward over the next four years.”
Valerie Jarrett told CNN today that she’s been helping Obama pick new people for his inner circle, to combine with cabinet members who are staying on such as Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
“He’s basically said, look, if you’re not in for it, if you’re running out of energy, then you should move on, because he is as energetic as I’ve ever seen him and ready to move forward with the next term. So I don’t think burnout is going to be a problem,” Jarrett said.
She brushed off the lack of diversity in his cabinet, saying he’s “far from finished” constructing his cabinet.
“I spent a lot of time in the Oval Office, and I’m in there with a great number of women who he listens to, and whose counsel and advice he trusts greatly,” she said.
Jarrett said Obama believes that if he spends more time “being out and about and talking directly to the American people,” it actually ends up putting pressure on Republicans in Congress “to do the right thing.”
“So, he’s going to both continue to work with them and seek common ground. And I think you’ll hear a bit of that in his speech tomorrow about how we may not agree on everything, but there have got to be ways that we can come together and solve some of the challenges we have, because he believes in his heart that we have such a great country, we have so much potential,” she said. “And if people would just put their short-term political interests aside and focus on the American people and engage the American people in the process, as he intends to do, then we are still capable of great things, big things.”