Pre-Debate Q&A With Valerie Jarrett - Black Enterprise

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Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

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Valerie Jarrett, Sen. Barack Obama’s long time friend and senior advisor sat down with to discuss where Obama’s head is in the last few weeks before the election. How do you think Sen. Barack Obama will respond if McCain tries to assault his character by tying him to ACORN and Bill Ayers?

Valerie Jarrett: I think it is important to keep in mind that Sen. McCain is really desperate at this point.. He is doing eve thing he can to tear down Sen. Barack Obama’s character with all of these distorted accusations about him. What Barack Obama will do is what he has done throughout the campaign.

He will speak directly to the issues that people care about. The economy is front and center and so he will be explaining to the American people what he plans to do to jump start the economy. Get us back on track and reach the even keel that we have lost as a result of this economic turmoil. McCain has gone very negative in the last few weeks and I feel it is just a sign of desperation.

Were you present when Barack Obama decided to run for president? How significant was your influence on his decision?

It was an evolution. It wasn’t a split decision over a period of a couple months he went trhoguh a very thoughtful process, beginning of course with Michelle. They determined if they were prepared to make the sacrifice that the two of them would have to make for their family in order for him to make this run. He Spoke to a series of people whose opinions he trust to see whether he would have their support. Investigated whether or not he could raise money.  Looked around to see who he would have to help lead the campaign and assemble the kind of team that he wanted.  After a long and thoughtful process he decided to run. I was a sounding board and asked him questions to see if he had thought it through because it is a very personal decision and it really wasn’t my place to say yes he should or no he shouldn’t but to make sure he had considered the pros and cons. I was overjoyed that he decided to do it. I have always thought he would make a tremendous president but it was a decision that requires great personal sacrifice.

Was there anything aside from family concerns that would have kept him from running?

If he didn’t think he could win. It was never an exercise in theory. He wanted to make sure he could win and if he couldn’t win then he wouldn’t get started down this path. I know a lot of people thought it was an unlikely journey and an unlikely outcome, but he was confident from the beginning. If the American people would give him a chance, then he would demonstrate that he was worthy of their

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Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.