National Security Network

Obama Picks Another Chicagoan for Senior Post, Sets Meeting with McCain

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News McClatchy 15 November 2008

rand beers

President-elect Barack Obama on Friday named longtime friend and campaign adviser Valerie Jarrett to a senior post in his White House, a move that makes clear the importance of his Chicago political connections as he moves to take the reins of power in Washington.

Jarrett, who as an aide to Chicago Mayor Richard Daley once hired Michelle Obama for a city job, will be Obama's go-between with state governments and public advocacy groups and will have daily contact with the president. Her title will be senior adviser and assistant to the president for intergovernmental relations and public liaison.
Last week, Obama named Rep. Rahm Emanuel of Chicago to be his White House chief of staff.

The announcement of Jarrett's White House posting - the first senior spot to go to an African-American - came on a day in which the Obama transition team stepped up its preparations to take office on Jan. 20.

Dozens of experts assigned to Obama's transition team fanned out into federal departments, agencies and commissions to gather information that will help the incoming administration get a jump on policymaking, budgeting and personnel decisions.

These included areas where President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney's policies have been under intense scrutiny by Democrats, including the Executive Office of the President, national security programs, the Justice Department and energy programs.

The list of agency-review team leaders released Friday included names such as Rand Beers, a former counterterrorism adviser to Bush who resigned from the National Security Council in protest of the invasion of Iraq