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Obama's top aide: Need 'simple booklet' to educate tea partiers

Valerie Jarrett

A simple booklet explaining President Obama’s health care and economic policies may help those in the tea party movement better understand White House initiatives, suggested Valerie Jarrett, one of Obama’s closest advisers.

Jarrett blasted the tea party movement as an “anti-government” organization that thrives on scare tactics.

Jarrett made the comments last week at a John F. Kennedy School of Government forum.

At the event, an audience member compared the tea party movement and anger at Obama’s policies with people who initially resisted computers because of their “failure to understand” the new technology. The questioner explained simple booklets eventually helped to educate the public on computers. He asked Jarrett whether “much simpler” booklets could be produced for tea party supporters.

“Could the Obama administration write much simpler booklets on housing foreclosure, on the health care bill, whereas a typical person, including those in the tea party, could understand the basics of it?” asked the audience member.

Jarrett was further asked whether the analogy comparing the tea party movement to people who initially rejected computers was accurate.

“I think it’s an excellent analogy,” Jarrett replied.

“Hope and change were so catchy because it was really very simple and it was something everyone understood the definition. And so I think part of what our challenge is is to find a very simple way of communicating,” she said.

A video of Jarrett’s comments has been posted at Breitbart.com.

Jarrett characterized tea party supporters as anti-government extremists.

“Even if they are in favor of, let’s say, a different form of health care insurance reform, fine; but what’s happening is it’s an anti-government – I mean, that’s the tea party. They really are, um, are, uh, trying to rebel against government at all. And I think that that’s … again, it’s an extreme.”

Continued Jarrett: “And it’s always a lot easier, again, to scare people and to get them angry when they’re already scared, and they’re already uncertain. And I think that’s what the tea party is trying to capture.”