12/25/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Michelle Obama On Senior Adviser Jarrett: "She Knows The Buttons, The Soft Spots"

On a dark afternoon last week, the road to Jerusalem and Beijing momentarily veered through the office of a real estate company here.

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."

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