'The other side of Obama's brain'
That phrase is used to describe Valerie Jarrett, the as-yet little known key adviser to Barack Obama. A long profile of Ms. Jarrett by Don Terry of the Chicago Tribune reveals some interesting data on the Obama inner circle. He describes her role as
"...straight-talking, fiercely loyal, well-connected, discreet, disciplined, protective confidant/friend/sounding board/ surrogate sibling who has known the candidate since before he or she became the next big thing."
In 1991, Jarrett was the deputy chief of staff for Mayor Daley when a tall, striking-looking African-American lawyer named Michelle Robinson walked into her office for a job interview. The young woman had the whole package: Princeton University undergrad, Harvard Law School, two years at a prestigious corporate law firm. [....]Jarrett offered the young lawyer a job that day. But Robinson said she wanted to think it over. A couple of days later, she called Jarrett back and asked if Jarrett would have dinner with her and her fiance, Barack Obama.
"CEO of the Habitat Company, a major real-estate firm and court-appointed receiver of Chicago public housing, overseeing the beleaguered agency's long, painful struggle to desegregate by building new mixed-income developments."
Word is that Jarrett is in line for a big job in Washington if Obama becomes president. Perhaps she will be tapped to head housing or commerce. Or she may simply be First Friend, wielding power and influence behind the scenes like her cousin-in-law, the former civil rights leader, Vernon Jordan, did during the Clinton White House years.