ABC’s Chris Cuomo kicked off Democratic Convention week with a very positive portrayal of Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett. On the August 25 edition of "Good Morning America," Cuomo asked such hard hitting questions as to Michelle Obama’s fashion choice the night of her speech.
Cuomo portrayed Jarrett as a friendly house wife neighbor of the Obamas', Cuomo declared Jarrett has "been called as close to [Obama] as a sister." What Cuomo neglected to note that, according to David Freddoso, Valerie Jarrett "was the chief executive of a company that managed a housing complex that became so run-down it was seized by the federal government."
The morning host could not be bothered with such inconvenient facts, instead asked the staunch Obama supporter "what don’t they know that you know?" "is he ready?" and "what is your greatest fear for Barack and Michell?"
Chris Cuomo only asked mildly tough questions about why Obama did not pick Hillary Clinton as his running mate and the recent tightening in the polls.
The transcript follows.
DIANE SAWYER: I'm joined here in the anchor booth by Chris Cuomo who sat down with one of Barack Obama's closest confidants, friends to talk about tonight, Chris.
CHRIS CUOMO: Yes, Valerie Jarrett is her name. She's been called the other half of Barack Obama's brain. She's been called as close to him as his sister. Now she has been with Barack and Michelle from the beginning. The history could not be more complete. Ordinarily, though, as we see in the picture, she's right there, but in the background, always taking a back seat until now. We got the chance for a rare interview with Valerie Jarrett to get an inside look at the Obamas on the eve of what could be their greatest moment. For all that people know about Barack Obama, what don't they know that you know that you know?
VALERIE JARRETT: I think what's terrific about Barack Obama is that he's so authentic. And people often ask me, what is he really like? I say he's the same person you that see on the campaign stump. He is a person of character, of integrity, of a deep heart and a caring for the American people.
CUOMO: Okay so this is the big moment, right?
CUOMO: He's getting to the convention. Is he ready?
JARRETT: Absolutely, he is ready, more than ready. Looking forward to this moment. This is the moment that he's worked so hard, not just during this campaign, but his whole life.
CUOMO: This has been somewhat pollwise a tough month for Barack. You've seen a contraction in the numbers. How do you explain that?
JARRETT: Well, I don't bother to explain it and I'll tell you why. Because this time last year, Barack was behind double digits in the polls, in the national polls. So we don't pay a lot of attention to the polls. What's really important is the poll that counts is the one on Election Day.
CUOMO: Hillary Rodham Clinton, 18 million votes does not become the vice president. Why was it worth rolling the dice and going with somebody else and not being comfortable with Hillary Clinton as the vice president?
JARRETT: Well, it wasn't a matter of not being comfortable. It was a matter of who was he looking for as his partner. Senator Clinton will be instrumental to Senator Obama in the Senate. It's going to be so important to have her and her leadership in the Senate, because the president can't accomplish everything alone, not even with the vice president. You need the support of the Congress, and so having her in the Senate will be helpful. It isn't necessary to have her to be on the ticket to help him win this election.
CUOMO: This is a big moment for Michelle.
JARRETT: Very big moment.
CUOMO: You're having her lead off the convention. Is she ready for that?
JARRETT: Absolutely. You lead with your strength. And Michelle is certainly our strength. She will speak in very personal terms about the Obama family, give a sense of who Barack is, who she is, how they were raised, the struggles, the challenges that they faced along life's pathway, and the people that have inspired them throughout both their lives and this campaign.
CUOMO: Do we know what Michelle is wearing?
JARRETT: We do know what Michelle is wearing.
CUOMO: Are we allowed to share it?
JARRETT: Absolutely not, but she will be stunning, of that we are sure.
CUOMO: What is your greatest fear for Barack and Michelle?
JARRETT: Well, my fear is always I want them to spend more time together. Barack's father left him at a very early age, and he promised himself that he would always be there for his children, that he will be a father who is president in their lives and involved in their lives. And I think that the campaign has required them to be away. And they have all kinds of creative fun ways for staying in touch and spending time with each other over the telephone and by video. But I think having them together again as a family and living in the White House, allowing him to be the kind of father, present in their lives day in and day out, that will be a great day.
SAWYER: So good to hear from her, but you asked the fashion question.
CUOMO: I did, I did. And I didn't get an answer. Because it really is so important. Valerie was more willing to talk about the speech than what will be worn.
SAWYER: Top secret. Everybody knows it shouldn't matter but we can't help ourselves for watching tonight.