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Obama covers his tracks (covers up his past, won't release records)
americanthinker ^ | September 11, 2008 | Ed Lasky

Posted on 09/11/2008 2:24:27 PM PDT by dennisw

Barack Obama apparently wishes his two autobiographies to be the definitive record of his past. He has blocked efforts by others who wish to independently examine his past.

He won't allow his transcript from his undergraduate days at Columbia University to be released.

He "lost" his thesis on Soviet nuclear policy (see "Where in the World is Obama's Missing Thesis" which might provide insight regarding his seeming lack of knowledge about Soviet policy during the Kennedy years).

He won't answer questions about his days at Harvard Law School.

He "lost" his Illinois Senate records.

He will only release a simple one-page letter from his doctor on his medical condition.

He won't release his application to the state bar, which, as National Review's Jim Geraghty notes raises questions about whether he told the truth about parking tickets and drug use, among other issues.

He won't disclose list of his clients from his law firm days or the nature of the work he did for them as a lawyer (his clients include the indicted political fixer Tony Rezko).

He walks away from uncomfortable questions about Rezko at a news conference. 

His cultists try to shut down inquiry into his stewardship of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge by sliming a journalist investigating his days at the helm of that group, which blew through $100 million dollars with no discernible benefit for the schools and students that it was putatively designed to help  (what does the constitutional law lecturer say to the chilling of free speech by his acolytes?).

He tries to muddle his long-standing ties with Pastor Wright by producing a version of his attendance record at Trinity Church that is sharply at variance with previous versions he has given ("Obama Re-invents his Trinity Church History").

The Wall Street Journal joins the battle over Obama's past in today's editorial ("Obama's Lost Years"):

The Columbia years are a hole in the sprawling Obama hagiography. In his two published memoirs, the 47-year-old Democratic nominee barely mentions his experience there. He refuses to answer questions about Columbia and New York -- which, in this media age, serves only to raise more of them. Why not release his Columbia transcript? Why has his senior essay gone missing? [....]

Voters and the media are now exercising due diligence before Election Day, and they are meeting resistance from Mr. Obama in checking his past. Earlier this year, the AP tracked down Mr. Obama's New York-era roommate, "Sadik," in Seattle after the campaign refused to reveal his name. Sohale Siddiqi, his real name, confirmed Mr. Obama's account that he turned serious in New York and "stopped getting high." "We were both very lost," Mr. Siddiqi said. "We were both alienated, although he might not put it that way. He arrived disheveled and without a place to stay." For some reason the Obama camp wanted this to stay out of public view.

What can be said with some certainty is that Mr. Obama lived off campus while at Columbia in 1981-83 and made few friends. Fox News contacted some 400 of his classmates and found no one who remembered him.

Barack Obama is the least-examined Presidential candidate in American history. Partly this may be due to the fact that he has a paper-thin resume and few accomplishments. However, he does have a record and past (he is, after all, approaching 50 years old). An informed electorate is the foundation of American democracy -- a principle which Senator Obama has ignored. The mainstream media -- with a few courageous exceptions (the pages of National Review, Weekly Standard, ABC News correspondent Jake Tapper) -- have aided and abetted Barack Obama's quest to change history retroactively by immunizing him from any serious examination. Meanwhile they send the journalistic equivalent of the dogs of war to create their own history of Governor Sarah Palin (notably by pulling journalists off the terrorism "beat" to cover Palin's record in Alaska).

He accuses people who scrutiny his record of being engaged in distractions or pulls the race card out and slurs them as racists. At times, he has all but accused people who inquire about his record as being stupid. He imperiously declares some areas of his life as being "off limits".

For a man who constantly trumpeted the importance of transparency he seems to be adverse from applying that principle to his own life. He owes the voters a clear accounting of his past.
Why have journalists allowed Barack Obama to avoid scrutiny? The media has been called the Fourth Estate for its crucial role in ensuring that democracy thrives. When journalists abdicate their role, we all suffer.  What is Barack Obama afraid of regarding his past? What do journalist fear to find?

When they rely on Barack Obama's version of his life to become their stories they become nothing more than campaign workers laboring away for free.

Come to think of it, this does not seem so far from the truth.

Posted at 10:38 AM | Email |


Scary. Remember Orwell: Those who control the past control the future. But Obama's no big brother, just another tinpot, banal BB-wannabe with delusions of grandeur untempered by actual experience in the world. The true monsters in this transaction are the American press, an institution so corrupt and so twisted it should be universally fired and rebuilt from the ground up. But that'll never happen and that's REALLY scary.

This is quite a list of "NO WE WON'Ts.' This is very well said:

[ The mainstream media -- with a few courageous exceptions (the pages of National Review, Weekly Standard, ABC News correspondent Jake Tapper) -- have aided and abetted Barack Obama's quest to change history retroactively by immunizing him from any serious examination. Meanwhile they send the journalistic equivalent of the dogs of war to create their own history of Governor Sarah Palin (notably by pulling journalists off the terrorism "beat" to cover Palin's record in Alaska). ]

Hence, the wolves ad released yesterday. If you haven't seen it, check it out and get it around:

Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Valerie Bowman Jarrett
(my note: Obama's Karl Rove)
from (not affiliated with Michael Savage)

Valerie Bowman was born on November 14, 1956 in Shiraz, Iran.

Her father, Dr. James Bowman, ran a hospital for poor children. Her mother, Barbara Bowman, is an early childhood education expert and co-founder of the Erikson Institute for child development. Her maternal grandfather, Robert Taylor was the head of the Chicago Housing Authority in the 1940s.

At age 5, she and her family moved to London for one year, then moved to Chicago in 1963. She received a B.A. in Psychology from Stanford University in 1978, and a JD from the University of Michigan Law School in 1981. She was married to William Robert Jarrett from 1983 to 1988. They had one child - a daughter - who is currently a Harvard Law student.

I'm wondering why we haven't heard anything about the 'other woman' in Barack's life on Chris Matthews' Hardball? or Keith Olberman's Countdown? I don't know for sure, but I think maybe her country of origin just might be something the Obama campaign chooses to keep from us. But the recent Democratic convention has found a way to introduce her to the American public, despite the DNC's attempts to obscure her from our view.

One advantage of a big, media-focused convention is that so many shadowy campaign "insiders" seek the spotlight. In Denver, Jarrett had been observed making the media rounds. Jarrett has been part of Obama's inner circle since his days as an Illinois state senator.


Above: Obama and Jarrett in January 2008, shortly before he characterized President and Senator Clinton as 'racist'.

She identifies herself as a Chicago businesswoman, but according to Obama campaign advisers, she is much more than that. She is Iranian-American, for one thing, and the Obama campaign has sought to keep her ties to Iran from press views, as it has also sought to keep her political background and deep and tangled business and personal relationship to the Obama family from sight. For example, while it's true that Jarrett is a business executive, she also has been a well-known political operative for Chicago Democrats back to her days working in the background as an adviser to late Chicago mayor Harold Washington, as well as the Daley family.

"She knows where are all the bodies have been buried in the past 30 or so years of Chicago politics and she knows all the tricks," says one longtime Democrat political consultant in Chicago. "If Obama had a political and financial godmother, it would be Valerie Jarrett."

Despite the elaborate and ineffective smoke screen by the Obama campaign, Katie Couric, the CBS Evening News anchor who was summarily dismissed by others in the MSM as being 'too much of a girl to be taken seriously about pertinent issues' managed to sneak a peek to us on August 11, 2008 despite her characterization as a 'fluffy bunny'.


Following is a portion of the transcribed conversation between Jarrett and Couric. Follow this link for the entire interview transcript aired on CBS, and follow this link for the unaired moment in Couric's interview because of 'time constraints'

"They call her the other side of Barack Obama's brain. A similar phrase was used to describe Karl Rove's closeness to President Bush. But Valerie Jarrett - unlike Rove - is not a professional political strategist. She's a business leader, a single mother, and, maybe, Chicago's most powerful woman after Oprah Winfrey. A former adviser to Mayor Daley, Jarrett's earned the complete confidence of Barack and Michelle Obama, and both Obamas say they don't make a big decision without consulting her first. Valerie Jarrett is someone America will see a lot more of between now and Election Day, and maybe for years to come."

Katie Couric: You first met the Obamas when you were trying to hire Michelle.

Valerie Jarrett: I did.

Katie Couric: for a job.

Valerie Jarrett: I was trying to recruit her into city government when I was Mayor Daley's deputy chief of staff. In fact, I offered her a job on the spot. She was just so extraordinary.

Katie Couric: And before she took the job, she wanted you to meet her fiancée?

Valerie Jarrett: She did. In fact the three of us had dinner - and you know she had some serious reservations about whether to leave the practice of law and leap into the mayor's office into a political environment. And the two of them said 'How about we have dinner and talk this through.' And I knew that if that the conversation didn't go well, the two of them were gonna go home and say, "Well, not so much. Maybe that's not the right move." So at the end of the dinner I did say well, did I pass the test? And he laughed and of course she did join us and made a huge difference.

Jarrett has now known the Obamas for 17 years, and is one of their closest friends, Couric reports. Her title on the campaign is senior adviser - which means she often serves as Obama's surrogate at meetings and events he can't attend. After Michelle, Valerie Jarrett may be one of the people he trusts the most.

Katie Couric: What do you envision yourself doing if Senator Obama is successful and elected?

Valerie Jarrett: I can't even go there. You know, it's a very simple question. You'd think I could answer it. I can't. It's a distraction. It's a distraction. And Senator Obama tells us to keep focused. And as Michelle says not getting ahead of ourselves.

Valerie Jarrett is part of a new generation of black leaders, and her biggest influence is her pioneering parents, reports Couric.

So, Valerie, you would like us to believe that you have nothing to gain because of your personal relationship with the Obama family? You say "I can't even go there, It's a distraction"? Then you should have a word with some of your friends, who beg to differ:

Jarrett, according to friends, gave Michelle Obama professional advice before she married Obama, and helped her with jobs. But more important, say Chicago Democrats who know Jarrett and Obama's history, and why the Obama campaign has desperately sought to keep Jarrett's role in the campaign under wraps, Jarrett may be to Obama what James McDougal was to Bill and Hillary Clinton. McDougall, a central figure in the Clinton's Whitewater Scandal, gave the Clintons the financial wherewithal to raise their national political visibility. "Jarrett has done that for Barack and Michelle three or four times over," says one insider, noting that Jarrett served as the CEO of a housing development company.

And Obama has returned the favor: Jarrett is the chief executive of Habitat Co., which developed and managed large housing projects in and around Chicago -- and in Obama's state legislative district -- that were subsidized by federal and state housing dollars, and which were ultimately seized by federal authorities for what were unlivable conditions. While overseeing the company that managed these housing facilities, Jarrett also worked with long-time Obama friend and convicted felon Tony Rezko in raising money for Obama's political career.

Obama campaign advisers have sought to have Jarrett fully vetted by the campaign to prepare for opposition research from the McCain campaign, fearing that she may have deeper and longstanding ties to financial entities associated with the subprime mortgage scandal.

"That and her ties to Chicago politicians and her Iranian background, and you have a potential nightmare," says a Democrat media consultant who worked for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. "Say what you want about Hillary, but she didn't have that kind of a triple threat on her team."

Putting makeup on a pig indeed!

{Bot Advisory: Before you start to whine that this is just another smear, please be advised that the information in this article has been complied from public information available from various media sources, including Valerie Jarrett's approved professional biography.}

©2008 All Rights Reserved.

obama rides the 'mccain-bush' connection because he believes that is where mccain is most vulnerable.

perhaps this is in part because, as with most people, we dislike those things we see in other people that are reflective of ourselves. if obama feels particularly vulnerable because of his past - which is not so 'past' as we are led to believe - it would go some way to explain why he is so determined to focus on mccain's past.

it is interesting how US magazine and the National Enquirer (not there's a reliable source) have had little or no trouble researching palin's background and family in two weeks, while having an inordinately difficult time coming up with anything about obama not written in his 'biographies'. i am somewhat loathe to refer to them as 'biographies' because really one is normally expected to have some experience worth reporting before writing a biography.

here is an interesting thought:

if obama's past is noteworthy, he'd be shouting it from the roof tops.
if obama's past could create problems for his political aspirations he'd try to hide it.
if obama's past is insignificant, it would remain ignored.

which do you think is the correct answer ?

We here in the Norfolk, Virginia area were witness to the pathetic spectacle of BHO resorting to two cliches in at attempt to explain his latest gaffe. The first explaniation was the "I wasn't calling the governor of Alaska a pig." Be that as it may, his audience obviously took it that way.

The second attempt was to say that he,"...loved this country too much to allow them take over another election with lies and phony outrage amd Swift-boat politics." The left continues to characterize the Swift-boaters as liars, and ignore the fact that the Swift-boaters are men of honor who served out nation in a very dangerous enviornment, and whose airm was to expose lies about stolen valor.

I think T Boone Pickens still has a $1 Million reward to anyone who can disprove any of the assertions of the Swift-boaters.

Timmerman's posts suggesting that Obama got help in school from unsavory sources seems to have hit a brick wall, but I think the problem here for Obama must be accute. He has claimed that his education was financed by student loans; and as an undergraduate and graduate student myself, I know this has to be a deliberate lie. There is absolutely no way that someone of Obama's gifts could not have received scholarship money. The real question is, why would you conceal the sources of your scholarships? Again, from my own experience in applying for academic positions, I never listed fellowships from, eg, the Heritage Foundation, because it would be positively suicidal, and guarantee my CV would be immediately dumped into the circular file. That Obama maintains the palpable fiction that a brilliant black student in higher education today received no scholarships or financial assistance rings the alarm bells: there's something he is desperate to conceal. What could it be? How can we possibly discover it?

And speaking of the media acting as The One's oppo researchers and campaign workers... have you heard the phone call from Debbie in Wasilla, Alaska? Jon Henke writes:

The media is going after Sarah Palin. Hard. Listen to this phone call to Kevin Wall, filling in on Bill Bennett's radio program. It's an Alaskan process server, who who called in to talk about how many calls she's getting from media organizations trying to get court records on Sarah Palin, her son Trak, and their friends. She names the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. The relevant portion starts about 1 minute in.

This is the stuff that opposition researchers usually do. I would expect the Obama campaign and the DNC to go after the personal records of Palin's family and friends like this, but the media? Did they go after Barack Obama this thoroughly on personal history?


Of course he wants to conceal his past. Even the things we know about are absolutely damning to his reputation. What reputation? Well, the Main Stream media does not investigate anything about him. He is a creature of the absolutely corrupt Chicago political machine. And his reputation is of a do-nothing radical, more interested in subverting our capitalist economy, and introducing marxist practices into the US.

Stanley Kurtz of the National Review is one of the very few journalists who is doing investigation, most recently of the Annenberg Challenge for which Obama was Chairman and Bill Ayers (of the Weathermen terrorist group) worked together. They managed to squander 110 million dollars and did nothing for the Chicago Schools. It is alleged that Obama funded ACORN (the largest radical group in America of Community Organizers), who, it is alleged used the public money to fund Obama's Senatorial campaign. In Chicago, Obama is called "the Senator from ACORN." Using public money this way is illegal.

It looks, more and more, that he has a long history of association with radicals, terrorists, and his value system aligns with Reverend Wright's: "GOD DAMN AMERICA."

So, it may be that there will be lots of dirt revealed about Obama which will make him a big loser, and result in a lot of embarrasment in the Democratic party which will be seen as nominating a completely unqualified and subversive candidate.

His resistance in releasing the Columbia days records is only feuling speculation. Now, we really want to know who financed his education there? Why isn't the Obama campaign releasing his records so we can find out if the Saudi Prince paid for his tuition. It really just might make a difference to one or two voters.

And the unraveling has just begun. This guy was a joke from the beginning. Old Bill Clinton could have saved his party one last time if they had listened but identity politics trumps all other concerns with this crowd. The Dem vs Dem videos from yesterday were quite disgusting and show yet again that it is a throwback to tribalism, this witless notion that whites vote white and blacks vote black and the sexes vote en block. This claptrap is anti-American through and through. From One, Many is their aspiration as said so well by Al Gore.

Mr. Lasky, not wanting to appear too conspiracy-minded, ignores the question at the bottom of the well. But let's ask it anyway: Can we see Sen. Obama's original birth certificate, please?

Not the certificate posted by Daily Kos. The actual, genuine birth certificate.

What do Mike Meyers and Obama have in common?

Both are international men of mystery.

Mr. Lasky, I applaud your diligence in compiling this list of factual gaps in the history of Barack Hussein Obama. Now, if you could manage to get this list of factual gaps even one days' play on the network and cable news outlets, you'd be a hero. These questions about Barack Hussein Obama go unanswered because the people responsible for finding these things out and disseminating that information to the people have failed us miserably.

I call on each and every American to stop feeding the media monsters who have allowed a man to get as close to the presidency as has Barack Hussein Obama without any scrutiny. If you buy a paper, or watch the TV News shows that have abdicated their responsibility to the public, then you are supporting their continued existence. Do not support the people who are killing your homeland from within!

Money is the only language they understand and if you don't join me in bringing them to their financial knees, you'll have only yourself to blame for the damage that they cause. You can get your news online just fine. You don't need the ghouls in the media anymore.

Don't just curse at the talking heads on your TV set every night - turn it off!

Could it also be that his grades at Columbia were not up to par to get one admitted into Harvard Law School on merit? How damaging would it be to The One if the public found out that he was a product of affirmative action, and but for the color of his skin would never have been admitted to Harvard Law School. Pretty damaging, I'll say.

I think that the most ironic thing that could happen is after Obama got his opponents ousted on technicalities, that we find out that he is FOREIGN BORN and not qualified to run for the Presidency!!! Then what would the DNC do? How would they look?

TOPICS: News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Illinois
KEYWORDS: 2008; barackobama; obama; obamabiden; obamarecord; obamasecrets; obamatruthfile

1 posted on 09/11/2008 2:24:27 PM PDT by dennisw
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To: dennisw

As a nation hiring a President and Vice-President, we should be able to see the educational transcripts and medical records of all the people running for those offices.

2 posted on 09/11/2008 2:31:04 PM PDT by trumandogz
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To: dennisw

And no SAT / LSAT to show how much ‘help’ he got getting in to college & law school.

c’mon Barry, you’re such a genius, whatcha hidin there bud?

3 posted on 09/11/2008 2:33:00 PM PDT by xDGx
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To: dennisw
The internet and the hard work of conservatives in this nation are exemplary.

No way. Not Ever. NObama

4 posted on 09/11/2008 2:40:32 PM PDT by Ultimatum (As we speak, another liberal implodes.)
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To: dennisw
"Barack Obama apparently wishes his two autobiographies to be the definitive record of his past."

He's publishing a third book this month too. What a guy! Besides "running" his campaign (into the ground), he's written three books. Legislation? Ptoooey! That's not a requirement for President, is it?

5 posted on 09/11/2008 2:40:33 PM PDT by mass55th (Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway...John Wayne)
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To: dennisw

I’d bet a years pay he never earned a degree.

6 posted on 09/11/2008 2:57:44 PM PDT by NoLibZone (All Democrats must be rationed fuel to reduce their hypocrisy about global warming.)
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To: dennisw

Fill out an app at Procter and Gamble.

Tell them you have a masters but cannot provide grades or thesis.


guess what they do with your app?

7 posted on 09/11/2008 2:59:58 PM PDT by NoLibZone (All Democrats must be rationed fuel to reduce their hypocrisy about global warming.)
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To: dennisw

A good summary of the Obamanation.

8 posted on 09/11/2008 3:00:00 PM PDT by jonrick46
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To: dennisw
Fox News contacted some 400 of his classmates and found no one who remembered him.

In a few years there will be tens of millions who can't remember him.

9 posted on 09/11/2008 3:00:53 PM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
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To: dennisw

10 posted on 09/11/2008 3:05:34 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist - McCain/Palin'08 =
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To: dennisw
What can be said with some certainty is that Mr. Obama lived off campus while at Columbia in 1981-83 and made few friends. Fox News contacted some 400 of his classmates and found no one who remembered him.

How can that be, when his Indonesian school mates, teachers, and neighbors all have no trouble remembering "Barry"?

11 posted on 09/11/2008 3:07:44 PM PDT by ApplegateRanch (The Great Obamanation of Desolation, attempting to sit in the Oval Office, where he ought not..)
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To: dennisw

One nitpick on an otherwise pretty impressive post. Why do you call Bowman “Iranian American”? From her parents’ names and her ethnicity, she sounds to me more like an African American who happened to be born in Iran. Am I missing something?

12 posted on 09/11/2008 3:13:19 PM PDT by blau993 (Fight Gerbil Swarming)
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To: dennisw

It all makes one feel almost proprietary about Bill Clinton. (He’s a sociopath, but he’s OUR sociopath.) Nobody really knows, to whom or what Obama belongs.

13 posted on 09/11/2008 3:13:24 PM PDT by 668 - Neighbor of the Beast (diogeneticistical...esque...ish...)
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To: ApplegateRanch
How can that be, when his Indonesian school mates, teachers, and neighbors all have no trouble remembering "Barry"?

They spent a lot of time in prayers together. I think five times a day so they would more likely remember him.

14 posted on 09/11/2008 3:13:44 PM PDT by marlon
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To: dennisw

Potpourri ...

Chicago Tribune - December 8, 1991
Author: Wilma Randle.
Valerie Jarrett `s temporary stint at Chicago`s City Hall is turning into

quite a long affair.

Jarrett , 35, was recently named by Mayor Richard Daley to head the city`s soon-to-be-merged offices of planning and economic development. In that role

she will have a wide influence overdowntown development projects, neighborhood urban-renewal projects and the city`s numerous business-development programs. Her appointment comes only a few months after she moved from her job in

the city`s legal department to serve as Daley`s deputy chief of staff. Those

two moves, coupled with the apparent meteoric rise of her star within the

mayor`s inner circle, have set tongues wagging at City Hall.

It also has triggered talk in the city`s development circles. ``Just who

is Valerie Jarrett and why did she get this job?`` people are asking.

In this newly merged post, Jarrett replaces Joseph James, the city`s

economic development commissioner who is resigning effective Jan. 1, and

former planning commissioner David Mosena, who has been promoted to mayoral

chief of staff.

The merger is part of what Daley called ``sweeping changes`` at City

Hall aimed at making government more efficient and cutting costs. It is hoped that merging the economic development and planning departments will help lure new business and retain existing ones.

Some developers regard Jarrett as a ``deal buster,`` said Ted Wysocki,

executive director of CANDO, the Chicago Association of Neighborhood

Development Organizations. That image, he said, stems from Jarrett `s days in

the corporation counsel`s office, where she was the person who often gave the final OK on city real estate deals. ``Some of my colleagues who have dealt

with her said there were some deals that ran into problems when the

corporation counsel got involved,`` Wysocki said.

Personally, Wysocki said, he thinks Jarrett could be good for

neighborhood development.

``I was pleased, too, that somebody with access to the mayor was going to be given the job. I was never sure that Commissioner James had been given the authority to do what he thought needed to be done,`` Wysocki said.

Many people are taking a wait-and-see stance on Jarrett `s appointment,

said Wim Wiewel, director of the Center for Urban Economic Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

``People are encouraged by her orientation toward neighborhood-based

planning. But there`s also skepticism among many manufacturers and

neighborhood groups about how much of this will really be reflected in

concrete programs and policies,`` Wiewel said.

Jarrett said she is not surprised by her selection to the new post, and

she`s confident in her ability to do the job. ``And I believe I`ve got the

mayor`s confidence,`` Jarrett said. She got to know the mayor through her

association with David Mosena, she added.

What seems to surprise Jarrett more is that she`s working at City Hall at all.

That wasn`t the path Jarrett set for herself when she returned to Chicago in 1981, having just graduated from the University of Michigan Law School.

Her objective then was private practice. She worked at Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal for six years. She specialized in real estate law, working with

commercial lenders on a variety of construction projects, ranging from

shopping centers and hotels to office buildings. She also worked on a number

of land-acquisition deals.

She came to City Hall in 1987 at the behest of Judson Miner, then

corporation counsel to Mayor Harold Washington.

``Miner had this program called Lend-A-Lawyer, which was aimed at getting attorneys from the private sector to come and work with the city`s legal staff on a temporary basis, maybe for as long as six months,`` Jarrett said.

The request came as she was rethinking her life and her career, said

Jarrett , who had recently gone through a divorce.

Jarrett , who has a daughter, Laura, 6, continues to use her former

married name. She is the ex-daughter-in-law of Vernon Jarrett , the Chicago

Sun-Times columnist.

She also had recently taken part in a leadership seminar sponsored by

Chicago United, a business-leadership group in which participants spent many

hours talking about the city`s future.

The seminar, she said, got her to thinking about her future.

``After having gone through that program, I realized that at the end of

the day I wanted to feel a little bit better about how I had spent the day.

... I wanted to know that I was doing something worthwhile.``

Jarrett said City Hall work was more interesting and challenging than

she`d expected.

``I found I was having the time of my life. First of all, if you grow up

in the city you know the neighborhoods, and so it`s something to feel like

you`ve made a difference.``

Her expertise in real estate law prepared her for the projects she

encountered while working in the corporation counsel`s office. She cites the

Chinatown redevelopment deal-a mix of townhouses and stores on what was

railroad land north of Cermak Road-as one of the most complicated financing

packages she`s worked on.

That Jarrett should feel this need to ``make a difference`` is


She was born into a family for which ``making a difference`` was not

just creed, it was an expectation.

Her father is Dr. James R. Bowman , an internationally known specialist

in hematology and pathology who has served on the faculty of the University of Chicago Medical School. Her mother, Barbara, an expert in early childhood

development, is director of graduate studies at the Erikson Institute for

Early Education.

Her father`s research took the family around the world. She was born in

Shirazz, Iran, in 1955.

Dr. Bowman was one of a number of American professionals who answered the call of the then Shah of Iran to assist in modernizing his country. Her

parents went to Iran so her father could direct the building of a village

hospital. Jarrett was 5 years old when her family returned to Chicago and

their Hyde Park home.

Jarrett attended the University of Chicago Lab School. She finished high

school at a coed prep school in New England, later enrolling at Stanford


The person who seems to have influenced Jarrett the most is someone she didn`t know: her grandfather, Robert R. Taylor- for whom the South Side

public-housing complex is named. He died in 1957 at age 56 of a heart attact. He was Jarrett `s mother`s father.

``That`s where I get my inspiration,`` said Jarrett .

At first hearing, especially for someone familiar with this particular

housing complex, the statement seems rather odd.

In many circles the words ``Robert Taylor Homes`` and ``public housing`` carry a stigma representing what many consider the worst of urban life:

poverty, crime and related despair.

Jarrett is not inspired by what the Robert Taylor housing complex has

come to symbolize, but what her grandfather envisioned it to be.

Taylor was not pleased with the design of the high-rise housing complex

that would later bear his name.

In the obituary that appeared in the Chicago Tribune on March 1, 1957,

Taylor was described as the ``Negro civic leader and nationally known advocate of better housing in Negro communities.``

As was his father before him, Taylor was an architect. His father was the first black person in America to receive a degree from the Massachussetts

Institute of Technology. He later served as vice president of Tuskegee


In 1929, philanthropist Julius Rosenwald hired Taylor to design the

Michigan Avenue Garden Apartments. Located at 47th and Michigan and commonly

known as the Rosenwald Building, it was Chicago`s first large-scale housing

project for black tenants. It was also one of the nation`s first housing

projects aimed at middle-income families.

Taylor`s expertise on moderate-income housing was sought by Presidents

Hoover and Roosevelt. He also served as chairman of the Chicago Housing

Authority from 1939 to 1950. He was an officer of the black-owned Illinois

Federal Savings and Loan Association, still operating on the South Side.

Taylor is said to have helped provide housing for as many as 50,000 of

the city`s black families and helping more than 7,000 others buy their own


Jarrett has her own vision for the city.

``My objective is to go out, city-wide, and establish concrete plans in

all our neighborhoods. It sounds simple but it takes cooperation. I`m

interested in building bridges, to raise sensitivity in other units of

government about how their plans affect one another.`` And, she added, she`d

like to see her office improve its communication and work with neighborhood


The city is committed to attracting new business, but Jarrett said it`s

also clear it needs to work harder at keeping businesses.

``I hear two concerns both from business and neighborhood groups,`` she

said. ``People want to know that they`re going to be a part of the process

that shapes the city`s future. People are saying they want to be a part of the forum.``

Just how much authority will Jarrett have to carry out her vision?

``It depends ... `` she said, not quite finishing that response. Instead, she said, ``The mayor cares a lot about planning. And he`s given me the

mandate to `Go get some things done.` I think he has confidence in my


To fulfill that charge, she added, means, ``We`re going to have to take

some risks, we`re going to have to experiment.``


Chicago Sun-Times - October 15, 1992
Author: Michael Sneed


Tipsville . . .

Dateline: City Hall - Watch for City Planning Commissioner Valerie Jarrett to hire Michelle Robinson- Obama , an assistant to Mayor Daley’s former chief of staff, Dave Mosena, as her new point person responsible for monitoring the city’s major business expansion and retention efforts.


Fundraising has set record, Obama says - $4 million raked in in the last quarter
Chicago Tribune (IL) - July 7, 2004
Author: David Mendell, Tribune staff reporter. Tribune staff reporter Liam Ford contributed to this report.


Obama ‘s financial success is due in large part to his image as a rising star among national Democrats. He has been profiled in national magazines, and his candidacy has been buoyed by liberal newspaper columnists, who have broadly praised Obama ‘s credentials, oratorical skills and personal charm.

That glowing media coverage has created a buzz around Obama ‘s candidacy among big-name donors and Democratic politicians. Rushing to back Obama have been billionaire investor George Soros and U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.). Both hosted Obama fund-raisers in their homes.


Obama riding momentum
Chicago Sun-Times (IL) - October 19, 2006
Author: Lynn Sweet, The Chicago Sun-Times
Monday night, on the eve of his book tour, Sen. Barack Obama was feted by some of his closest friends and supporters.

Just a few blocks from his own house, the reception was at the Kenwood home of Barbara and Jim Bowman , the parents of Valerie Jarrett , who until recently was the treasurer of HOPEFUND, Obama’s national political action committee.

The guests — people who were there at the beginning of his 2004 Senate bid and some of his best donors, even comedian Bernie Mack — were given copies of The Audacity of Hope that Obama already autographed.

The invitation was sent out on behalf of Obama 2010, the war chest for Obama’s Senate re-election campaign — presuming, that is, if he is not elected president or vice president in 2008, a prospect that was the buzz at the party and increasingly in political circles.

The torrent of publicity surrounding the publication of Obama’s second book has triggered even more speculation about Obama’s White House ambitions. A smart salesman, Obama has no reason in the world to dampen the book-selling hype.

A friend in Seattle called me Tuesday to report that the line was two blocks long for tickets for Obama’s book tour visit there next week. There are no tickets left for Obama’s Friday appearance at the Kennedy Library in Boston, where he will be interviewed by New York Times columnist Bob Herbert.

Obama, after a workout at the East Bank Club on Tuesday, filled the pews for a book chat at the Methodist church in the Loop, the last of three public stops on Day One of the book launch.

Oprah on Wednesday. Larry King tonight. Tim Russert on Sunday.

After the November election, Obama will become more serious about looking at 2008.



After 2000 Loss, Obama Built Donor Network From Roots Up
New York Times, The (NY) - April 3, 2007


Major contributors to Barack Obama ‘s 2004 Senate primary campaign included black professionals, friends from Harvard and wealthy Chicago families.
Black business community
John W. Rogers Jr. — Ariel Capital Management: $11,000
Quintin E. Primo III and wife — Capri Capital partners: $18,000
Louis A. Holland, wife and partners — Holland Capital Management: $35,000
Chicago’s top business families
Members of the Crown family Holds a major stake in General Dynamics: $112,500
Members of the Pritzker family Founded Hyatt Hotel chain: $40,000
Major Democratic donors
George Soros and family New York financier: $60,000
Executives at Tejas Inc. Texas-based securities firm: $56,000


Oprah ‘s Obama bash ‘magical’ - 2 ultra-elite parties follow the main fund-raising event
Chicago Sun-Times (IL) - September 10, 2007
Author: Lynn Sweet, The Chicago Sun-Times
If the opulent Oprah Winfrey reception and concert fund-raiser for White House hopeful Barack Obama weren’t enough, for a chosen few hundred elite donors there were two die-to-go-to after-parties.

A masseuse in a Zen garden. A big pool. Fantastic desserts. P.I.N.K. Vodka.

That’s the report from one Obama donor who, after attending the extravagant fest at Winfrey’s estate in Montecito, drove over to 936 Hot Springs Road in the same community just south of this coastal city for a party co-hosted by actor Hill Harper.

Most of the VIPs from the entertainment industry and Obama’s best donors and bundlers — about 200 — remained at Winfrey’s estate for a long night of eating under a huge tent with chandeliers.

“It was a magical night that I will never forget,” said Habitat Co. honcho Valerie Jarrett , a charter member of Obama’s kitchen Cabinet. “ Oprah created a spirit and enthusiasm and pure unfettered support for Barack’s candidacy that connected with everyone. Everyone felt they were a part of this campaign.”

The guests were served at two long tables. Winfrey beau Stedman Graham headed one table, Michelle Obama another, with Obama somewhere in the middle. Among those present from Chicago, besides Jarrett , were Johnson Publishing president and CEO Linda Johnson Rice and her husband, Mel Farr; Penny Pritzker, Obama’s national finance chairman, and Obama friend and campaign treasurer Marty Nesbitt and wife Anita Blanchard.



Oprah backs Obama, but will she vote for him? - Talk show queen hasn’t voted in a presidential primary since at least 1988, but Illinois senator would love to see her make political ads for the first time
Chicago Sun-Times (IL) - September 7, 2007
Author: Lynn Sweet, The Chicago Sun-Times


There is a large contingent from Chicago coming out, led by Penny Pritzker, the real estate mogul who is Obama’s national finance chief. Habitat Co. honcho Valerie Jarrett , a charter member of Obama’s kitchen Cabinet and a close friend, will be there, as well as Obama pal Marty Nesbitt and his wife, Anita Blanchard, who traveled to Kenya with Obama last year. Mayor Daley’s daughter Nora Daley Conroy and her husband, Sean, will be strolling on the Winfrey acreage, as well as former Illinois Lottery chief Desiree Rogers; Ariel Capital Management founder and Illinois Obama finance co-chairman John Rogers and Mellody Hobson, Ariel’s president, who moonlights as an ABC News contributing editor, and Johnathan Rodgers, the president of TV One, and his wife, Royal.

15 posted on 09/11/2008 3:15:03 PM PDT by maggief (Read my lip-stick!)
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To: maggief

great info... I’ve come across Valerie Jenrette before

16 posted on 09/11/2008 3:46:49 PM PDT by dennisw (Never bet on a false prophet! ::::::|::::: Never bet on Islam!)
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To: dennisw
The Boston Globe Blows the Lid Off Obama's Past!
17 posted on 09/11/2008 4:00:14 PM PDT by pabianice
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