In Jarrett, Wall St. Finds Direct Line to Obama

Firms salute efforts of White House 'consigliere'
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 16, 2009 10:55 AM CDT
In Jarrett, Wall St. Finds Direct Line to Obama
Valerie Jarrett, right, at the White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House on Monday.   (AP Photo)

Valerie Jarrett wears many hats in the White House: “If there’s a consigliere, it’s Valerie,” says the head of President Obama’s transition team. Lately, however, the longtime family friend has chiefly been Obama’s ambassador to big business, Bloomberg reports. She “picks the brains” of executives from Wall Street to Disney—and they appreciate the connection. She’s a “tremendous asset” to the president, says American Express’ CEO.

“Valerie’s the one person down there who can get some of those competing ideas and different perspectives into the president, which is really what he wants,” adds Citigroup’s CEO. Jarrett brings her own business experience to the table, but at daily meetings on the economy, she says she lends the perspective of “someone who’s not as close to it perhaps as the people who are living and breathing it.” (More White House stories.)

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