President-elect Barack Obama has named John Podesta, Valerie Jarrett, and Pete Rouse co-chairs of his transition team. He has also named William Daley, Carol Browner, Federico Pena and Janet Napolitano to his advisory panel. Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuel has been offered the job of White House chief of staff.
Jarrett has been close to both Barack Obama and Michelle Obama for years and is now co-chairwoman of his transition team. It is fair, I think, to say that her record shows much about both Obamas, since the three have been allies for so long.
Jarrett worked briefly as a lawyer for Mayor Harold Washington, and stayed on after his death to become Mayor Richard Daley’s Deputy Chief of Staff. In other words, she was a key cog in the Daley machine.
She is also a businesswoman, CEO of the Habitat company, which manages housing in Chicago, not always successfully. The Boston Globe did a very substantial investigation of the problems in some of the housing that she, and other allies of Obama, managed. You should read their whole exposé, and even watch the video that accompanies it.
Flyover of the neighborhood where Obama served as a state senator, specifically, the apartment complexes rehabbed and managed by his biggest backers, like Tony Rezko and top campaign officials like Valerie Jarrett. (below)
Appeared on Meet the Press 11.09.08. To quote Ms. Jarrett: [Obama is] “ready to take power and begin to rule, day one.” Interesting choice of words.