On a dark afternoon last week, the road to Jerusalem and Beijing momentarily veered through the office of a real estate company here.Barack Obama
Valerie Jarrett, the company’s chief executive, had signed her resignation letter an hour earlier, and now she was taking phone calls from potential top diplomatic appointees.
“You don’t need to thank me,” she said soothingly to a booming male voice on her cellphone. “I just wanted you to have a chance to make your case.”
After several long conversations with Mr. Obama, Ms. Jarrett took herself out of the running for the Senate seat. Or, rather, Mr. Obama did: she let him make the call.
“He knows the Senate, he knows me, and he knows what he was looking for in the White House,” she said. “I trusted him to make the decision.”