White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett dismissed her critics Wednesday afternoon, suggesting broadsides directed at her way are a natural byproduct of rising to a powerful perch in Washington as a woman.
"When you break glass ceilings you're going to get scraped -- a minor scrape -- by a chard or two from the glass," Jarrett told MSNBC. "But what I really focus on is the hard work that we have in these last two years and I wake up every morning, as I know the president does, focusing on people who are really just trying to get ahead, who are counting on us to work for them."
Real Clear Politics clipped video of the interview, which appears below.
Jarrett, who has been one of President Obama's closest confidants -- arguably the closest -- and a longtime family friend, has been criticized by some other Democrats, including a few in Obama's orbit. Accounts of her feuding with other Obama aides have surfaced in media reports during his presidency.
She's back in the media spotlight now, amid a new wave of stories revisiting what some argue is her negative influence on the president.
"They complain that she has too much control over who sees the president. That she skews his decision-making with her after-hours visits. That she is an incorrigible yes-woman. That she has, in effect, become the chief architect of his very prominent and occasionally suffocating bubble," writes Noam Scheiber in The New Republic.
In a Politico Magazine piece titled "Fire Valerie Jarrett," Carol Felsenthal writes: "Almost since the start of Barack Obama’s presidency, people who have actual, real duties in the West Wing of the White House -- the working, executive part of the government, that is -- have been urging him to do something about Valerie Jarrett. Push her into the East Wing, where she can hang out with Michelle Obama and the White House social secretary, or give her an ambassadorship — or something — but for Pete’s sake get her out of the way of the hard work of governing that needs to be done."
Jarrett told MSNBC the disapproval does not faze her.
"Just thinking about Lilly Ledbetter and everything that she went through to fight for equal pay -- and so, you know, if I take a bump or bruise along the way, that's nothing in [comparison] to the sacrifices that the woman whose shoulders I stand upon made along the way," she said.
Democratic strategist Donna Brazile came to Jarrett's defense in a CNN op-ed Tuesday, writing that the Obama adviser has been the target of sexist attacks: "No sooner was the hunt on for a fall guy for the Democratic midterm losses than some in the press predictably went after a fall gal -- President Barack Obama's senior adviser, Valerie Jarrett."