New book: Jarrett’s ‘Chicago connections’ led to Obama’s Solyndra visit

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
Font Size:

Revelations from a new unauthorized biography of President Obama called “The Amateur,” continue to trickle out. The latest involves White House adviser Valerie Jarrett.

According to the book, written by former New York Times Magazine editor Edward Klein, many of Obama’s most liberal and costly political mistakes stemmed from Jarrett’s advice.

Jarrett reportedly hatched the idea of Obama flying to Copenhagen to “make a dramatic presentation to the International Olympic Committee” for Chicago’s Olympic bid — and also encouraged Obama’s visit to “the Bay area solar company Solyndra” — despite the protestations of Lawrence Summers (who in 2009 warned against the loan guarantee) and others.

Klein implies Jarrett’s pro-Solyndra position was a result of her “Chicago connections” and

especially her close ties to the George Kaiser Family Foundation, which controlled 35.7 percent of Solyndra. The foundation had made a sizable donation to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where Jarrett once served as chairwoman and where one of Obama’s best friends, Eric Whitaker, is currently executive vice president. Billionaire George Kaiser, one of Obama’s top 2008 campaign fundraising bundlers, visited the White House no fewer than sixteen times, and Jarrett herself met at least three times with Solyndra lobbyists, who pushed for government assistance.

But Jarrett didn’t always get her way.

Regarding the killing of bin Laden, Klein writes that,

she privately urged the president not to send in a Navy SEAL team. She told Obama that the raid could turn out to be a replay of 1980’s Desert One, when President Jimmy Carter’s effort to rescue American hostages in Iran backfired so badly that it doomed the Carter presidency.

The book casts former Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel as a pragmatic adviser, who was frequently overruled by the more liberal Jarret. “[A]t almost every turn,” the book says, “Emanuel was thwarted by Jarrett, who functioned along with David Axelrod as Obama’s ‘political brain.'”

Axelrod and Jarrett were charter members of the Cult of Obama; they had drunk deeply of the Obama Kool-Aid. They made certain that the president remained true to his roots as a big-spending, big-government liberal,” adds Klein.