- The Washington Times - Friday, March 13, 2015

Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to President Obama, said she doesn’t plan to leave the White House “until the lights go off” and talked down a comparison of her influence at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. to that of former Vice President Dick Cheney.

“Oh, my goodness, I intend to stay until the lights go off. Why would I miss a single second of this?” Ms. Jarrett said in an interview with The New York Times Magazine when asked if she would stick around 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. “to the bitter end.”

She also said Mr. Obama was able to work with the other side of the aisle as a state senator in Illinois and that she expected a different relationship with Republicans on Capitol Hill starting out six years ago.

“What became clear when we came here is that there was not a willing spirit on the other side of the table,” Ms. Jarrett said.

Presented with the argument that the president could have reached out and invited Republicans to golf, bowl or watch movies with him at the White House, she said they “just wanted to say no.”

“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.

She was also asked if it ever surprises her that people describe her influence at the White House in similar terms as those used to describe Mr. Cheney‘s.

“Oh! Please don’t say that. Stop right there,” she said. “The president listens to people who have interesting things to say — that could be the most junior person on the staff or it could be a senior adviser or it could be a person who whispers something to him across a rope line.”


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