This week, NBC News did a piece on the woman behind the man, White House senior advisor Valerie Jarrett. It was your usual human interest-meets-politics piece that didn’t garner much attention, until a piece of Jarrett’s office kitsch caught the eyes of The Blaze.
On a shelf in Jarrett’s office sits a frame lined with figurines bowing in worship to none other than Obama’s second first lady herself. Of the bizarre display, Jarrett responded via Twitter:
Don’t worry friends, it was a gag gift. Us strong women don’t need worship — just an economy for the 21st century. #WomenSucceed
It was a smart diversion; not believable, but smart. Totally lacking in humility, too, which is the scary thing. It isn’t that “strong women” need worship, she says, but she doesn’t say they — that is, the Royal They of Strong Women — don’t deserve it. The corny goddess cliches of the ’70s would’ve been more entertaining.
In fact, Jarrett’s lack of humor in general adds more than a tinge of discomfort to the entire story. Perhaps the altar frame wouldn’t be so creepy if Jarrett hadn’t already dropped oddball statements in the press like,
“We have kind of a mind meld,”Jarrett told me about Obama. “And chances are, what he wants to do is what I’d want to do.”
Maybe we’d be willing to laugh along with the gag if so many of her friends weren’t so afraid to chuckle in her presence:
Jarrett’s critics have no dearth of examples. She has been variously described by her critics within the Obama administration as the “Night Stalker,” on account of her general ruthlessness, as well as her tendency to follow the president into the White House residence after hours; “She Who Must Not Be Challenged”; and Obama’s “Rasputin.” Former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, who clashed often with Jarrett, likened her and senior aide Peter Rouse to Saddam Hussein’s maniacal sons, Uday and Qusay.
It’s fairly easy to conclude, then, that there was no “LOL” punctuating her Tweet because, when it comes to her reputation, Jarrett never jokes around. Maybe that’s why a reporter has yet to ask why she needs a picture of herself in her own office. Or, better yet, why a mirror, mirror on the wall apparently won’t do.
See also at the PJ Tatler from last week: 30 Books for Defeating Valerie Jarrett’s Cult of Political Criminals