White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett appeared on CBS News' 100 Days Live Webcast Wednesday night to field questions about her boss' first months in office. The longtime Obama confidant discussed everything from the "torture memos" to the America's faltering automakers to the president's efforts to quit smoking.
Jarrett said that getting out of the White House and talking to average Americans outside the Beltway bubble is what keeps the president grounded.
"Seeing the challenges that they face that's what gives him the fortitude, and the strength, and the courage to get up everyday," Jarrett told CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric.
When it came to the administration's decision to release memos documenting the CIA's use of harsh interrogation techniques, Jarrett said the president would not prosecute officials who were just following orders.
"We don't want to get distracted by looking back, we need to move forward," Jarrett said. She then noted that the decision to seek legal action against those who devised the policies ultimately lies with Attorney General Eric Holder.
The presidential advisor indicated that despite charges to the contrary, the president was less than thrilled about having to take charge of the automobile industry. She said that he wanted to "get out of the business" of running private companies as quickly as possible, echoing the president's comments during his primetime press conference.
Jarrett also discussed more personal issues. She told Couric that Mr. Obama is no longer smoking cigarettes, and that White House life is agreeing with the members of the Obama clan. Jarrett said Sasha and Malia, the president's daughters, are enjoying their new D.C. digs.
"The girls are very well adjusted," Jarrett said. "They are fortunate to have two parents who are protective of them, who are grounded, and who understand the importance of values and character."
Asked why Michelle Obama's approval rating is so high, Jarrett was effusive in praising her friend.
"To know the first lady is to love Michelle," Jarrett said.
- Obama: Proud But Not Content
- Obama Urges Swine Flu "Contingency Plans"
- Obama: Info Gained Doesn't Justify Torture
- Obama: "I Don't Want To Run Auto Companies"
- Obama's "Enchanted" Answer
- Obama Hints At Change To "State Secrets" Privilege
- Watch The Full Webcast
- Huffington: Bank Bailouts Could Be Obama's "Achilles' Heel"
- Valerie Jarrett Defends Obama On CIA Memos
- Republicans Ponder: What Next?
- Americans Sound Off On Obama's 100 Days
- Photos: 100 Pictures For 100 Days
- Timeline: The Obama Presidency Day By Day
- Steve Chaggaris: 100 Days In, A Presidency Still Undefined
- Brian Montopoli: What Has Obama Meant For Black America?
- Marc Ambinder: Grading Obama's First 100 Days
- Mark Knoller: 100 Days By The Numbers
- Lara Logan: New President To Be Tested By Old Enemies
- Declan McCullagh: Obama's Transparency Vow Receives Mixed Reviews
- Jessica Derschowitz: The "Obama Effect" In Pop Culture
- Around The Web: What The Media Are Saying
- Chart: 100 Days In The Stock Market
- Word Cloud: President Obama's Words
- Polls: Obama | Race Relations | Torture | Same Sex Marriage | Our Poll, Your Questions | Video: Polling Director
- Complete 100 Days Coverage
Obama's Press Conference:
CBSNews.com's 100 Days Webcast With Katie Couric:
Recap, Analysis & Reaction: