A New York Times profile of Valerie Jarrett, President Obama’s top aide, glosses over her family’s radical history, including ties to a top communist activist and to former Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers.
The profile, from September 2012, received newfound media attention earlier this week after BuzzFeed.com reported White House efforts to defend Jarrett behind the scenes by circulating glowing talking points about her to other administration officials who were candidates to be interviewed for the Times piece.
The talking points, titled “The Magic of Valerie,” were documented in an upcoming book by Times reporter Mark Leibovich.
“The magic of Valerie is her intellect and her heart,” read the document.
“She is an incredibly kind, caring and thoughtful person with a unique ability to pinpoint the voiceless and shine a light on them and the issues they and the President care about with the ultimate goal of making a difference in people’s lives,” memo said.
“Valerie is the perfect combination of smart, savvy and innovative.
“Valerie has an enormous capacity for both empathy and sympathy.”
“Valerie is someone here who other people inside the building know they can trust.”
Ultimately, the New York Times profile of Jarrett, while mostly positive, was not without criticism.
Reported the Times: “Some of Mr. Obama’s most senior advisers worry – perhaps not entirely without jealousy – that her direct access to the president has at times led to half-baked decision making and unclear lines of authority.”
Radical family ties
However, the Times did not report any of Jarrett’s radical family connections.
Regarding Jarrett’s mother, the Times says only that “her mother had a Chicago street named after her for her work in early childhood education.”
As WND was first to report, Jarrett’s mother, Barbara Taylor Bowman, founded an education initiative alongside Ayers’ family that was funded by Ayers, Obama and ultimately the 2009 “stimulus” legislation.
The Chicago school, the Erikson Institute, focuses on training people who work in early childhood development.
Besides founding Erikson, Bowman was president of the institute from 1994 to 2001 and served as the school’s Irving B. Harris professor of child development.
One of the Erikson Institute’s former trustees and members of the executive committee is the late Thomas Ayers, father of Bill Ayers.
Bernardine Dohrn, Bill Ayers’ wife, also served on the Erikson board.
In his 1998 book, “A Kind and Just Parent: The Children of Juvenile Court,” Bill Ayers calls Jarrett’s mother, Bowman, a “neighbor and a friend.”
Obama and Bill Ayers once funded Erikson together. The Erikson Institute was among the first 35 school partnerships awarded funds in December 1995 by the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. Ayers was a founder of the Annenberg Challenge; Obama was hired in 1995 as the group’s first chairman.
In 2009, Erickson was awarded just shy of $5 million from Obama’s so-called stimulus legislation.