Voices of Power Transcript

A Conversation with Valerie Jarrett

Valerie Jarrett describes how the president works and what it's like when your friend is president. Whitney Shefte and Matthew Hashiguchi/The Washington Post
Sunday, May 31, 2009; 11:00 PM


LOIS ROMANO: Welcome, Valerie Jarrett


ROMANO: Senior Advisor to President Obama. Thanks for joining us today.

JARRETT: Oh, my pleasure.

ROMANO: Your portfolio includes Public Engagement, Women and Girls, and Intergovernmental Affairs, not to mention that you are probably the closest friend of Michelle and Barack Obama on staff here right now.

So let's start with your relationship with the Obamas and particularly your relationship with the President. Can you talk to us a little bit about that?

JARRETT: Sure. I met him about 18 years ago when he actually right before he and Michelle were married, and I was recruiting Michelle to come and work in Mayor Daley's office, and the three of us had a chance to get together and talk, and the rest is history.

ROMANO: Well, people have said that you had taken them under your wing at that time. In fact, the word "maternal" has been used. Yeah.

JARRETT: Well, that makes me feel a little old. So let's not use that word.


JARRETT: "Sisterly." How about that? [Laughter.]

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