Idgit Watch

Valerie Jarrett to lead effort to win bid for Chicago to host 2016 Olympics

Posted by danishova on May 2, 2009

Another day, another waiver.  From the White House Website:

Just a quick post to advise that we granted an authorization under Section 3 of the President’s Ethics Executive Order to Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett to lead the White House’s effort to support Chicago’s bid to secure the 2016 Olympics.

The President promised during the campaign that staff would not work on contracts or regulations directly related to their former employers.  We have captured that promise in Paragraph 2 of our revolving door rules, which applies to non-lobbyists.  Valerie previously served as Vice Chair of Chicago 2016, the non-profit entity responsible for the Chicago bid.  Although Chicago 2016 was not her "former employer" in traditional terms, the term "former employer" in the President’s Order encompasses entities that appointees served as directors or officers, as Valerie did here.  (To be clear, Valerie was not a lobbyist for Chicago 2016, and this waiver has nothing to do with lobbying.)

We decided that a waiver of Paragraph 2 was in the public interest in order to help bring the Olympics back to the United States. Valerie’s past experience with Chicago 2016 makes her ideal to work with the city and its bid committee to help win the Olympics for the U.S., with the many benefits that would bestow.  In her time working with the City of Chicago on its bid, she developed knowledge about the process that will make her a powerful advocate and liaison.  Although Valerie previously volunteered with Chicago 2016, she has no continuing financial relationship with them.  Since the Administration already plans on vigorously supporting the United States’ sole 2016 Olympic bid, we felt that letting Valerie lead our efforts was strongly in the public interest.  The authorization can be found here (pdf).

Meanwhile, The Guardian U.K. writes:

Chicago used the popularity of U.S. President and former city resident Barack Obama to try to boost their 2016 Olympic bid on Friday, tweaking his famous slogan and stating "Yes we will".


"With Mayor Richard Daley in City Hall and Obama in the White House, we have the highest ever political support for an Olympic bid," bid vice president Mike Roberts told the congress.

"Obama is committed to bringing the Games back to the U.S. He’s created an Olympic office in the White House."

Hmmm. I’m thinking that between Daley and Obama  pushing the I.O.C. this goes into the offers you can’t refuse category.  To say there is pressure on the I.O.C. would be an understatement. 


Chicago’s team have been criticised in the past for not giving detailed financial projections and they again concentrated on Obama-mania rather than figures.

I guess this means that with Jarrett elevated from  Vice-Chair to head of the whole kit and caboodle, they’ll finally get specific financial projections like:

A Chicago Olympics will save or create 1 million jobs.


1.  Unfreakingbelievable!  Obama never stops rewriting American history. From a statement made earlier in April:

In a four-minute video message to the IOC, Obama touted Chicago’s diversity and culture, calling it “that most American of American cities.”

Really? If we had to choose I’d be more inclined to pick some place that was one of the original 13 colonies. You know, where the country was founded.

“It’s a city where the world’s races, and religions, and nationalities all live and work and play and reach for the American Dream that brought them here; where our civic parades wave the colors of every culture; where our classrooms are filled with the sounds of the world’s languages; and where jazz and rancheras and bhangra can be heard down the street from one another,” Obama said.

Riight! Cause rancheras and bhangra are as American as apple pie.  Amazingly he did forget to mention that The Communist Party U.S.A. was founded in Chicago.

2.  The Hill notes  Valerie Jarrett’s waiver here but offers no comment other than it being “something to watch”; Jake Tapper focuses on the waiver here.  He notes:

In addition to the waiver for former Raytheon lobbyist Lynn, the White House in March also announced waivers for Jocelyn Frye, former general counsel at the National Partnership for Women & Families, and Cecilia Muñoz, the former senior vice president for the National Council of La Raza, allowing them to work on issues for which they lobbied.

Instead of granting waivers, the Obama White House appears to now be pursuing a new course for administration officials who lobbied or worked for interested private firms. Instead, these officials are signing letters of recusal detailing issue areas where they will not work so as to avoid conflicts of interest. An example: former Goldman Sachs lobbyist Mark Patterson, who now serves as the chief of staff for Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.

ABC News has been requesting copies of these letters of recusal since February, to no avail.


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