Valerie Jarrett is President Obama’s senior advisor. In an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, she said that the President “prides himself” on the fact that he hasn’t had any scandals, and he’s never done anything to embarrass himself. Here’s how their exchange went:
FAREED ZAKARIA: He’s also played the role of head of state and president and Michelle has as first lady with a great deal of dignity. Is there a conscious effort to do that because it is the first African-American couple in the White House? Do they think in those kinds of historic terms about their role?
VALERIE JARRETT: I think they behave in a dignified way because they’re dignified. I think part of the magic for why they’re so appealing is that they are who they are. Early on, we’d have meetings and people would say to me, well, what did he really think? And I’d say, what did he say? And they’d say what he said. I said well, he kind of is what he is and that is the same for both of them. So I think that they behave as the people who they are, what you see in public is the same thing I see in private.
Do they feel responsibility because they’re historic figures? Yes, they do. But I don’t think that it has made them be different than who they are. The president prides himself on the fact that his administration hasn’t had a scandal and that he hasn’t done something to embarrass himself. But that’s not because he’s being someone other than who he is. That’s because that’s who he is, that’s who they are, and I think that’s what really resonates with the American people.
Just because the media doesn’t report something as a scandal, doesn’t mean that it must not be a scandal. The media’s job for the last eight years has been to carry the water for the White House.
It won’t matter what you bring up as scandals – whether it was the IRS targeting conservative non-profit groups, or the Fast and Furious debacle, or Benghazi, the disastrous foreign policy in the Middle East, or the current fear-mongering and sanctions toward Russia – the media and political establishment will regard those as non-events. They’ll claim that conservatives tried to blow them all out of proportion, and that the truth is that nothing really happened.
Obama has been shielded by the press. Now that Trump is transitioning in, the media will be very different. They’ll be the exact opposite of what they have been during Obama’s terms. They’ll treat the Trump administration as nothing but a constant scandal and cover-up.
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