WASHINGTON -- Barack Obama's transition co-chair Valerie Jarrett is headed toward a senior position in the White House, I've learned, rather than a Cabinet post. Meanwhile, Jarrett Wednesday shut down speculation about replacing Obama in the Senate when she said she's not interested in the seat.
Jarrett holds a unique position in that she is a personal friend as well as adviser to the president-elect and wife Michelle.
She's more valuable to Obama in the White House than in his Cabinet.
At the White House, Jarrett is expected to serve in a similar role as in the campaign, as an Obama counselor and confidante.
Jarrett sent out the word that Gov. Blagojevich, who will appoint Obama's replacement, should not put her on his list.
She told PBS anchor Judy Woodruff, "I'm actually not interested in the Senate position. What I've said to President-elect Obama, you know -- as you know, he's a very dear friend. He knows me well. ... I'm happy to serve my country at the pleasure of the president in any way he deems fit."