Like the Nixon administration before it, President Barack Obama’s White House apparently keeps — or at least at one time kept — an enemies list.
In a profile in the New Republic of Valerie Jarrett, who is considered Obama’s most influential White House adviser, Noam Scheiber writes of the existence of an enemies list — or as he termed it, “a shit list.”
“Valerie Jarrett is not above keeping a shit list — or as hers was titled, a ‘least constructive’ list,” the article reveals. “One progressive activist recalls Jarrett holding the document during a meeting and noticing her own name on it, along with the names of others in the room. ‘It was kind of an honor,’ the activist told me. This was not out of character for Jarrett. The woman who once resisted [Rahm] Emanuel’s commandment against rewarding bad behavior has often gone out of her way to suppress dissent among ideological allies and others who question the president.”
Surely sensing the political toxicity of such a revelation, a White House official pushed back on the report.
“A White House official says the document was prepared by a staffer acting without orders and that it is not a common practice,” the piece noted.
Sure. Some low-level aide prepared the list without instructions to do so and Jarrett just carried the list around by accident. Makes perfect sense.
Jarrett isn’t just any aide. One source summed up the common understanding of Jarrett’s influence in the New Republic article: “You know she’s speaking for the president, more so than anyone else on the staff.”
So if such a list does exist, who’s on it? And, perhaps more importantly, what are the consequences for being on it?