- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Valerie Jarrett, the reputed shadowy voice behind much of President Obama’s political maneuverings, is stepping from the background to meet with Congressional Black Caucus members to discuss recent judicial nominations.

CBC legislators aren’t happy that Mr. Obama’s preferences for the federal roles don’t really reflect the diversity of their districts — that the picks aren’t black enough, to put it bluntly. For instance, they say that Mr. Obama’s selection of six nominees from Georgia — only one of whom is black — don’t accurately reflect the demographics of the state, where a third of the population is black, The Hill reported.

And they’re planning to speak their mind to Ms. Jarrett about their problems with the judicial nominees in a meeting with her on Wednesday, The Hill reported.

But the CBC isn’t really faulting Mr. Obama for the picks. Rather, they say the picks are the result of overlay aggressive conservative influence that’s driven Mr. Obama to cave.

“Win or lose, we’d feel better if there’s a fight,” said Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus judicial nominations working group, in The Hill. “We have a Herculean task, of course, because of the senators whose conservatism is antithetical to the judicial philosophy of probably anyone who [the president would prefer].”

He added, The Hill reported: “At the same time, the president ought to be able to appoint anyone he wants. And you know, we want the president to fight for it.”

Rep. G.K. Butterfield, another CBC member, saw similarly.

“There needs to be more defiance” on the part of the president over the judicial nomination process, he said, The Hill reported.

Ms. Jarrett, a White House senior adviser and a longtime friend of Mr. and Mrs. Obama — and a key figure in steering their careers and political advancements — is ostensibly tasked with calming the CBC’s tone and addressing their concerns.