According to a report from Ed Klein, author of Obama biography, The Amateur, Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett was the “architect” of the government shutdown showdown. She developed the strategy to force a showdown with Republicans over Obamacare as part of a plan to regain Democratic control of the House in 2014.
Jarrett is called “the night stalker” by some White House staffers because she is the only aide who regularly goes upstairs to the White House residence and “hangs” with the entire Obama family.
It was Jarrett who advised Obama that voters would mostly blame Republicans if the federal government ground to a halt, providing a golden opportunity to swing back control of the House to Democrats in the 2014 mid-term elections, according to Klein.
A Democratic House would give Obama an opportunity to pass immigration and other legislation blocked by the current Republican majority.
“It was during one of those nightly sessions that Jarrett devised the no-negotiating strategy that Obama has employed in his fight with the GOP over the government shutdown,” Klein said, citing sources within the administration.
“Valerie came up with the concept late at night, after the kids and grandma and were gone.”
“She convinced the president that a government shutdown and default offered a great opportunity to demonize the Republicans and help the Democrats win back a majority in the House of Representatives in 2014.
Valerie also came with the idea of using the words `hostage’, and `ransom,’ and `terrorists’ against the Republicans,’” Klein said.
With her proximity to Obama and his family Jarrett has more influence on the president than any of his other advisers.
“Everyone in the Beltway knew Valerie Jarrett was influential. They didn’t know how influential she was,” said Klein, who interviewed more than a half dozen White House and former presidential advisers about the shutdown strategy.
Jarrett is the one who advised Obama “do not cooperate one iota on ObamaCare. Don’t give an inch. Let the Republicans stew in their own juice,“ Klein said.
“The Republicans walked into a trap set up by Valerie Jarrett and President Obama, The Republicans are in an untenable position,” he added.
Throughout the administration there have been reports of Jarret’s influence on this President. In the raid on Usama Bin Laden, for example, it has been reported that Jarrett got Obama to delay the action three times before it was finally executed.
In the end, the decision/blame to go or not go ahead with Obama’s stubbornness strategy can only be placed with one person, the president. And it will be 13 months before we can judge whether or not it worked.