Former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel wanted Valerie Jarrett out of the White House so much that he tried to convince her to run for President Barack Obama's old Senate seat, according to former Obama adviser David Axelrod's new book.
But Obama, wanting to keep Jarrett as an adviser, convinced her not to do so.
AP Photo/Susan Walsh
“I don't want to manage the president's best friend,” Emanuel said, according to Axelrod's forthcoming "Believer: My 40 Years in Politics." The book is due out Feb. 10; the New York Daily News reported on an advance copy.
Emanuel ultimately left the White House by October 2010 and is now the mayor of Chicago. Jarrett, a longtime confidant of the Obama family, is still widely considered the most influential White House official and has outlasted other advisers she is said to have clashed with, including former economics adviser Larry Summers and former press secretary Robert Gibbs.
Axelrod also recounted Obama’s reaction to Mitt Romney’s concession call on election night 2012.
Axelrod wrote Obama was "unsmiling during the call, and slightly irritated when it was over" and quoted Obama paraphrasing Romney: “You really did a great job of getting the vote out in places like Cleveland and Milwaukee.” Obama added, “in other words, black people. That's what he thinks this was all about."
On another vanquished opponent, Axelrod said that after winning the Democratic nomination in 2008, Obama at one point considered nominating Hillary Clinton to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Axelrod also quoted former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg as saying Obama does not like to interact with people.
“You know what his problem is?” Bloomberg told Axelrod in 2008, according to the book. “You have to like people to be successful. You have to connect. I saw him greet people at the golf course. You probably told him to do it. But he doesn't feel it. You have to have that!"