Jarrett to HUD? Friends Render a Verdict of Unlikely
By Carol D. Leonnig
Valerie Jarrett may be little known in Washington, but the longtime power in Chicago circles already has an enviable perch in the capital: She's a longtime, trusted confidante to President-elect Barack Obama and his wife, and now co-chairman of Obama's transition team.
Would she give it all up to head the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, as some Cabinet watchers are speculating? Her friends and allies reject the idea as poppycock. Sure, she has a lot of expertise in that area, having helped the Chicago Housing Authority manage several developments with her private company, Habitat. But why, her friends ask, would she give up her catbird seat advising Obama on his future team and a range of policies from inside the White House to become a department secretary in a Southwest Washington outpost?
"Never going to happen," said one longtime Clinton official offering guidance to the transition team.
Jarrett didn't return calls seeking comment. Last week, however, she warned reporters to stop speculating, after several Cabinet-contender lists came out listing her as a likely HUD nominee.
Posted at 12:13 PM ET on Nov 13, 2008
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