A rough day at Netroots Nation 09 for Senior White House Adviser Valerie Jarrett, sometimes described as President Barack Obama's "most trusted adviser." The political strategist was the featured guest on a panel moderated by Baratunde Thurston of Jack and Jill Politics, and, while attendees were largely "supportive throughout the question and answer session, the reception was warm at best." Jarrett was "hissed and heckled" over the Obama White House's continuation of Bush Administration policies on terrorism detainees.
Jarrett's remarks on gay rights were better received by the audience, writes AMERICAblog's Joe Sudbay, who attended the panel and live blogged the Q&A: "A question many [wanted] to suggest got asked: How will the Obama administration become a 'fierce advocate' again by working to repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' and the Defense of Marriage Act? She feels very strongly about this issue. President will work with Congress to repeal DADT. President also feels very strongly that DOMA needs to be repealed. She knows people were upset by the DOMA brief. DOJ has been in untenable position to defend law it considers wrong. Obama is going to work to repeal DOMA, too."
The Huffington Post's Sam Stein adds: "Jarrett was firm in saying the White House wanted both laws repealed."
WHEN YOU JUMP, via Good as You, video of Valerie Jarrett's remarks on DADT and DOMA. AMERICAblog's Joe Sudbay says the White House adviser was "quite forceful on this issue". Quite a compliment coming from a blog that was one of Obama's strongest supporters during the primaries and election—and has been one of the White House's fiercest critics on its lack of progress on LGBT issues.