Today Obama White House Chief of Staff William Daley made official his resignation and return “back to Chicago”. In light of this development, we now take our own look back at the related words of Insider spoken months ago on the possibility of this very scenario…
…In the Obama White House, you have the Oval Office, and you have Jarrett’s office on the second floor. That second floor office has been where the real power has resided. That is no exaggeration. Jarrett has people around the Oval Office who report back to her. Everything. She sets the agenda and that agenda is sent directly to the president, who more often than not, never questions it. And as Jarrett assumed more control over the day to day operations of the West Wing, the president happily backed away. He had little interest in policy. He had even less interest in the work to form that policy. As long as he “looks good” – that’s all that matters to him, right? I know I’m repeating myself a bit here, but I’m getting to it.
So inside that White House, you have these little sub groups right? Each of those groups reports to Jarrett. She oversees everything. Everything. That is, until Bill Daley arrived. Bill started to assert himself. He’s the White House Chief of Staff for -expletive- sakes! He started to bring power back to the first floor of the West Wing, and leave Jarrett more isolated in her second floor office. Jarrett pushed back. Daley took it. Jarrett complained to Michelle. Michelle stood down. She got word to back the -expletive- off and that is what she did. So this situation finally reached a climax recently – Valerie Jarrett lost it. I don’t have the specifics of the meeting, I believe it concerned a staff member, perhaps Geithner…been getting a lot of chatter surrounding Geithner, or what information – whatever it was that set her off. But she lost it. The lady went ballistic, which I’m pretty certain is just what Daley wanted. Something was to have come to her first. An agenda, a meeting plan – something along those lines. Daley froze her out. She was left upstairs while the meeting took place. Staff were instructed – directly instructed, to leave her out of it. Word got back to Jarrett of course. And so, she summoned Daley to her office. Now understand, officially, Valerie Jarrett is a senior adviser, right? That’s her position. She’s not the White House Chief of Staff. That position, if held by someone who knows how to fully utilize the power inherent in that position…that’s a powerful spot. Bill Daley knows that kind of power, and he knows how to use it against a creature like Valerie -expletive- Jarrett. So Jarrett summons Daley to her office. She waits while he is supposed to make the trip upstairs to see her.
Daley blows her off. Ignores her. Now I’m sitting here telling you this knowing you can’t fully appreciate just how satisfying it was for me to first hear that. Jarrett starts asking staff why Daley has not made the meeting. She calls down to Daley’s office and gets the run around. Classic West Wing politicking but being played this time by a guy who really knows how to pull it off. Jarrett refuses to go down to Daley’s office – and by now she’s letting certain staff know she’s not happy about being ignored. Normally, people cross Valerie Jarrett and they are gone. Not this time though. Daley has support far greater than Valerie Jarrett’s relationship to the Obamas. They need him, and he knows that. And when Bill Daley leaves that White House, it will be on his terms, not theirs.
So Jarrett fires off an email to the First Lady’s office, and within minutes, someone close to the First Lady is in Jarrett’s office, no doubt conspiring. Now I want you to get this just right, ok? They were in Jarrett’s office for approximately 12 minutes. 12 minutes. Make sure you put that in this report. 12 minutes. The following day another call is made by Jarrett – she personally makes the call, to Daley’s office. Another request for a meeting. Again Daley ignores her. Later that same day, Jarrett heads over to the residence. This would indicate she is meeting with either one or both of the Obamas. The president was not in the Oval Office that day, and he was not at the White House for about half the day, so it would make sense to assume Jarrett was likely meeting with the First Lady, and I believe the primary reason was the situation with Daley – Jarrett’s anger against Bill Daley. His alleged disrespect of her. I assume this because the next morning, the same individual from the First Lady’s office who had visited with Valerie Jarrett, came to Daley’s West Wing office personally. She was not scheduled and was made to wait, only to later be told Mr. Daley would not be available that day. When word of this got back to Jarrett she lit into staff – and then she made the trip downstairs. She didn’t go to Daley’s office though, but to Mastromonaco’s office across the hall. There was some yelling by Jarrett, some strong profanity…it was heard by staff outside, and then Jarrett left and returned upstairs. She was visibly upset. Her office was on edge – the lady was not happy. Nobody has ever challenged her absolute authority in the White House – until Bill Daley.
That afternoon, a scheduled meeting was held in the Oval Office that included both Bill Daley and Valerie Jarrett. I don’t know what took place inside that meeting, but whatever it was spilled out to the hall outside the Oval Office near the Roosevelt Room. Jarrett was heard hissing something to Daley and jabbing her finger at him. Daley simply turned and began walking back down the hall toward his office as Jarrett stood glaring back at him. Daley then turned back abruptly and made his way toward Jarrett. A member of Jarrett’s staff intercepted him and there was some kind of exchange – not heated, their voices were calm, and Daley even laughed with them – like they had shared a joke. This set off Jarrett, and she flew down the hall – that is how it was described to me exactly – she flew down the hall, and once again she was in Daley’s face pointing at him. By this time the president’s assistant, a young man by the name of Reggie Love, who has been there from day one I believe, emerged from the Oval Office quarters and made his way toward both Daley and Jarrett. Now Mr. Love is a big fella. Large man. He placed himself between both Jarrett and Daley, and then placed his hand on Daley’s shoulder and shoved him. Not hard, but hard enough that Daley took a step back. Bill Daley was heard to tell Mr. Love to “Please back away – now.” He was calm throughout the altercation. Jarrett though was still very…vocal in her dissatisfaction with the White House Chief of Staff, and by now a number of staff were in the hall watching all of this unfold. Oddly enough, no sign of President Obama though, who apparently remained holed up inside the Oval Office, or his study.
After a few more words from Jarrett, Daley turned back around and returned to his office while Jarrett made her way back to the Oval Office with Love. They were in there for nearly 30 minutes before Bill Daley came down the hall and entered the Oval Office himself and another 20 minutes or so passed before Jarrett emerged alone and headed back upstairs. It was then 10 or 15 minutes before Daley came out. He was in a good mood, joking with a member of Plouffe’s staff who he met in the hall. As they were parting, the First Lady was making her way quickly down the hall toward the Oval Office. She walked past Daley without acknowledging him, even though it was clearly heard by others that Daley gave her a friendly greeting. She remained in the Oval Office for no more than a few minutes, though she could be heard shouting right before she came back out – this time with the young man, Mr. Love, walking with her back down the hall. He was apparently struggling to keep up with the First Lady, who was walking pretty damn fast. The staff could hear her coming before they saw her.
And from a later report from Insider in August of 2011:
No…what I will say is that those are two of the three tactics we are engaging in against Barack Obama’s re-election – continuing to push Eric Holder out of the DOJ, securing a primary challenger, and the other thing…it relates to a staffing issue. The loss of a critical member of the Obama staff. A resignation that will further the growing perception that the Obama White House is a place of internal disarray– which it absolutely is. And this event will also be a signal to those in the Democratic Party that Barack Obama’s re-election is not in their best future interests. It is time we cut our losses and begin the rebuilding process sooner rather than later. And I’m not just talking about the Democratic Party – I’m talking about the country. All of us. All of us need to correct this mistake, and that’s what the election of Barack Obama was. At its core, that’s what it really was – a huge mistake.”
Yes it was – now fix it. -UM