Valerie Jarrett: President Obama 'Doing His Job' Handling Ferguson Unrest
President Obama is doing his job, according to White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, who is now defending his handling of the Ferguson shooting and the civil unrest that has followed.
“He’s doing his job and there’s no magic wand,” she said. “And there are no words that he can speak, alone, that will stop the violence.”
Obama spoke publicly about Brown's death on three different occasions after leaving for his August vacation on Martha's Vineyard, calling for patience in the investigation and peace in the community.
Jarrett spoke at length to Politico’s Todd Purdum for an article examining why Obama is unable to give the African American community the passionate personal response for which some are looking.
“The circumstances determine the reaction, and it isn’t appropriate for the president to speak up emotionally in the midst of an ongoing investigation by the Justice Department,” she explained.
Jarrett argued that Obama’s influence in the situation was limited, particularly with the looters and rioters who have descended on the Ferguson community at night.
“The people who are misbehaving are probably not the people who are listening to his remarks,” she said, referring to his recent calls for peace in Ferguson.
She explained that Obama also wanted to remind law enforcement officials of their constitutional limits, while sending a message to the rioters.
I think the President’s goal is to add his voice in a way that is calming, so the violence ends, and to send a message to the government officials on the ground about what his expectations are in terms of freedom to assemble, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press — and also to signal to the people who have been looting and shooting that that’s not an acceptable way to honor the death of a young man.