While some of President Obama’s longtime aides are leaving the White House, senior advisor Valerie Jarrett is not going anywhere.
“Oh, my goodness, I intend to stay until the lights go off,” she said in an interview with the New York Times. “Why would I miss a single second of this?”
Jarrett acknowledged that she has a close relationship with the president, which made some advisors in the White House “uncomfortable” in the beginning of Obama’s first term. But she says but that discomfort has “faded.”
“I just want to do my job, and part of my job for the president is to be his friend,” she explains matter-of-factly.
She was annoyed after she was told that some people compared her to Dick Cheney, pointing to her unusually strong influence in the White House.
“Please don’t say that. Stop right there,” she said.
When asked about Obama’s failure to work with Republicans, Jarrett blamed GOP politics.
“What became clear when we came here is that there was not a willing spirit on the other side of the table,” she explained.
Attempts to reach out to Republicans were frequently rebuffed, she explained.
“They weren’t interested in playing golf, and they weren’t interested in being schmoozed, and they weren’t interested in going up to Camp David, they weren’t interested in going to state dinners,” she said. “They just wanted to say no.”