WASHINGTON — The shutdown was deliberately orchestrated by the White House, according to the former foreign editor of Newsweek and editor-in-chief of the New York Times Magazine.
Why would the White House intentionally cause such pain and havoc across the country?
It is a ploy to win votes, concluded author Ed Klein.
He told the New York Post that President Obama’s closest adviser, Valerie Jarrett, developed a strategy to force a showdown with Republicans over Obamcare.
Jarrett recommended shutting down government because, Klein said, she believed voters would pin the blame on Republicans.
And that would give Democrats the opportunity to win control of the House of Representatives in the 2014 midterm elections.
Klein wrote a critical biography about Obama last year called “The Amateur.” He said he interviewed more than a half dozen White House and former presidential advisers about the shutdown plan.
He called Jarret the “architect” of the strategy of refusing to negotiate with Republicans over Obamacare.
“She convinced the president that a government shutdown and default offered a great opportunity to demonize the Republicans and help the Democrats win back a majority in the House of Representatives in 2014,” he explained.
“Valerie also came with the idea of using the words ‘hostage,’ and ‘ransom’ and ‘terrorists’ against the Republicans,” Klein maintained.
He said Jarrett’s advice to Obama was, “[D]o not cooperate one iota on Obamacare. Don’t give an inch. Let the Republicans stew in their own juice.”
Klein added, “Republicans walked into a trap set up by Valerie Jarrett and President Obama.”
Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, believes there was evidence in plain view that the administration planned the shutdown in advance.
Gohmert told Fox News that on the eve of the shutdown, Sept. 30, the administration already had barricades and cones in place.
"They had worked out in advance they were closing these things down."
The congressman said "that's the only thing that explains" why the White House turned down their proposals and compromises.
'The Night Stalker'
Klein said White House insiders call Jarrett the “The Night Stalker” because she is the only presidential aide who is allowed to spend much time in the family quarters.
“Everyone in the Beltway knew Valerie Jarrett was influential," he said. "They didn’t know how influential she was."
He quoted top Democratic insider Vernon Jordan, whose wife is a cousin of Jarrett, as saying, “Her power derived from one simple fact — proximity. No one except Michelle Obama is closer to the president than Valerie.”
The White House has not commented.
Follow Garth Kant @DCgarth