Campaign Insider.

An old friend of the Obamas is a reassuring presence on the campaign trail

"So you think you gave a historically significant speech, huh?" Valerie Jarrett teased Barack Obama after he delivered his well-received address on race, in Philadelphia. During the speech, Jarrett sat next to Michelle Obama, the two old friends promising each other they wouldn't cry. "Ten minutes in, and we just looked at each other, and the tears started flowing," Jarrett says. But in the greenroom afterward, she was back to ribbing the Illinois Senator on the comparisons already being made to Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy.

Jarrett, 52, is that kind of friend to the Obamas--she can tease and...

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