Obama’s man on “green jobs” in a bit of a pickle

September 4, 2009

It’s never a good sign when you’re an adviser to the president and have to put out a statement of apology for yourself.

It’s even worse when your not-exactly household name starts bubbling up in the blogosphere and it has nothing to do with getting out White House talking points. KASHMIR

That’s the pickle that Obama’s “green jobs” adviser, Van Jones, has landed in. The White House promoter of clean energy finds his past not-so-clean language calling Republicans “a–holes” unearthed. (in all fairness he also calls himself by that word, and he made the remark a month before being appointed to the White House Council.)

If that’s not enough in the current politically tense environment (think healthcare), his signature on a 2004 petition that basically says the Bush administration “may have deliberately” allowed 9/11 to happen has come to light (he’s number 46, actor Ed Asner is number 2).

“If I have offended anyone with statements I made in the past, I apologize,” Van Jones says in a statement. “As for the petition that was circulated today, I do not agree with this statement and it certainly does not reflect my views now or ever.”

Notice he doesn’t say he didn’t sign the “911 Truth Statement.”

Friday evenings before long holiday weekends are notorious for government announcements that the administration would prefer buried.

So there will be a lookout for anything on Van Jones. Some blogs are already asking when he’s going to resign.

UPDATE: Republican Congressman Mike Pence from Indiana says Jones should resign or be fired because “his extremist views and coarse rhetoric have no place in this administration or the public debate.”

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, asked earlier today whether Obama still has confidence in Jones, replied: “he continues to work in the administration” and referred reporters to Jones’ statement. (Our read: Not exactly a ringing endorsement.)

What do you think, are these offenses to resign by?

UPDATE 2: Van Jones resigned over the weekend.

Click here for more Reuters political coverage

Photo Credit: Reuters/Danish Ishmail (variety of pickles displayed in Srinagar, Kashmir)


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

[…] plot to happen.  Thus far, Jones has apologized for his past and the Obama Administration has weakly supported their green jobs advisor, saying “he continues to work in the administration.” But as long as Jones works for the White House, entertainers like Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity are […]

Posted by BNET Intercom mobile edition | Report as abusive

Van is a communist radical. Amazing who the president of America surrounds himself with.

Posted by jason | Report as abusive

just another creep in an already creepy administration.

Posted by Gretchen Kerber | Report as abusive

They are not even trying to hide the fact that the president and his administration is openly communist. What is with all of these Czars? Have we been magically tranported to Stalinist Russia?

Posted by Jack | Report as abusive

Van Jones is a true racist and a bigot and a communist and now a socialist. He is whatever his current boss is as in he is a puppet and a stupid one at that. What an idiot!

Posted by donald | Report as abusive

What do you expect emanating from a buffoonish gaggle of Socialist-Communist anti-Americans who really have no place to be in America? They’re sick and dangerous to America’s health.

Posted by TC in Alaska | Report as abusive

You’re ignoring the biggest part of the story, which is his membership in a radical Communist group in the East Bay of California during the early 1990s. PLEASE, at least make an EFFORT.

Posted by Who is Good Will | Report as abusive

This is what happens when voters elect “change”. They get change. This Jones guy fits right in with everyone else in the administration. This whole thing must be what the American people want, or else they’d change it.

Posted by Frank | Report as abusive

Just another example of what an Obamanation this administration is.

Posted by Al | Report as abusive

repubs are –holes
Obama does not own the “czar” thing -previous pres does.

Posted by Elly | Report as abusive

The ivy league liberals are Ok advancing their agenda which is normally to justify a secular progressive life style ,provided they can float above it with out getting their hands dirty.their motive is their elitism they advocate change from a society that will not bend to suit their fancies. But what is going to tip this cart is the infiltration or a different type of animal the radical socialist who is motivated by a different set of values,people like Van Jones function out of envy and hatred for the disadvantages and opportunities they feel they were deprived of.These people would intentionally bring the country to it,s knees to achieve their goal,a well known saying in far left circles “the end justifies the means”so be warned! I used to hang out in “smoke filled rooms” with them,i was in their ranks.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

American people should be upset with Obama. He’s the one who picked Van Jones. They must be one and the same in ideaology or Obama would not have hunted him down. Just an indication of how Obama thinks. Van Jones has his ear. . . why not his mouth?

Posted by techlady44 | Report as abusive

Your negative posts have been reported to the White House.

Posted by Bob | Report as abusive

Funny how “communist radical” get attached to everything Obama does by his lunatic opponents, who apparently don’t understand either word. Personally, I wish the president and his out of the beltway advisers (erroneously called czars by the right wing) were REAL radicals, because that word just means a person who wants change, and that’s what Obama ran on. As for “communist” or “socialist,” Obama is clearly trying to save capitalism from the crooks who almost destroyed it, the same way FDR did. It doesn’t make sense that a communist would be trying to save the economy and promoting green jobs.

Posted by KC | Report as abusive

The problem is that Van Jones may resign, but he won’t disappear, working with the rest of the Shadow Government Obama and other have put in place to usurp our freedoms and demonize our values.

Posted by Karen | Report as abusive

I cant believe some people can still blame the last admin for the way obama is taking the USA down the road socialism

Posted by paul phipps | Report as abusive

hey all if you think he is bad someone better checkout the other 30 zars he has in office. Are they replacing all offices of the government. They all seem to have soicilist views. People need to wake up smell the coffee and beware of what is happening. Go Tea Party.

Posted by brenda | Report as abusive

Regardless of how you feel about this or any other administration, it is dangerous and unconstitutional to have Czars (advisers, whatever) that are not properly vetted or subject to congressional oversight. If Jones was vetted by the administration, one is left with little alternative but to believe that Obama is in-line with this brand of communist extremism and therefore should, himself, be removed from office.

Posted by Steve | Report as abusive

This is just ridiculous. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of hearing Van speak you would know very quickly that he is a brilliant, committed, loving man of the highest order. Glenn Beck is a sociopath bent on vengance and has stirred his semi-literate readers into a tussle. This will blow over as soon as Glenn chokes.

Posted by Terrance | Report as abusive

Ok terrance if glen beck is telling lies i hope van sues him!I saw the same as everybody else, sorry does not fit your description, perhaps in your world not mine, tells me a lot about Obama,perhaps which i already knew.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

Terrance…Wow. You obviously have not heard the rhetoric of Van Jones. Even if you have, you obviously adhere to his communist ideology. People like that should never be in a position of power. Not only that, he gets away with his diatribes because he doesn’t have to go through the confirmation process. He needs to go…Right now!

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

I must have been listening to a voice in my head.Were not the white poluters poisoning minorities.Loving must mean different things to different people.

Posted by bill cook | Report as abusive

I wonder where Van Jones will re-surface. Once you surround yourself with this type of character they never go away,they just get shuffled around. Obama needs these type around himself because he is of the same character. Ken Hull

Posted by ken hull | Report as abusive

hey one more time the old good boy system is applied,good friends make it to advisers without background check,playing the race card without accountability but just one simple apology,and the other hand it that came from an white will be inmediatly accused of racist and a big mass demand for public outrage.

Posted by Victor M Negrete | Report as abusive

I find it too funny that people are making a big deal over his coarse language. It was Bush and Cheney who used the same language at a campaign stop when they mistakenly thought that the stage microphone was turned off. So if that is proof of his unfitness for public office and by extension for Obama’s unfitness, then you have to conclude that Bush was more unfit because the vulgarity came from a more highly ranked individual.

Republicans really should work on being more rational. It doesn’t help your point to get all blustery and holier than thou when in fact you are evidencing great hypocrisy. Lets face it, Bush set the bar very low. When you complain about the current administration a large portion of the electorate will remember how Bush did it, and did it much worse. That is the Republican dilemma. Obama merely needs to be incompetent to be be Bush’s equal.

Posted by Earl | Report as abusive



HEY MEDIA!!!!!!!!


Posted by xinunus | Report as abusive

The problem with Van Jones’ resignation isn’t that it’s a major loss to the Obama administration. Jones wasn’t a particularly important player in the big scheme of things, and he’s by no means irreplaceable.

The real problem is that it gives the GOP whiners legitimacy.

The Republican party’s elected officials regularly peddle completely unhinged conspiracies and have introduced legislation implying the President of the United States isn’t an American citizen.
It’s a party whose members have made a habit of accusing the President of being a fascist akin to Adolf Hitler.
It’s a party whose leaders have endorsed outright treason and whose last candidate for Vice President was married to a secessionist.
It’s a party whose activists and media figures engage in the vilest political hate speech on a daily basis.

And these are the people who get to determine what constitutes appropriate speech and acceptable views in the political arena?
With Jones’ resignation, apparently so.

The White House should’ve brushed this off. Gibbs should’ve said something like, “When Jim DeMint, Michelle Bachmann, Rick Perry, Bill Posey and Paul Broun step down for their extremist views and coarse rhetoric, we’ll gladly ask Van Jones to step down as well. Until then, that’s the last question I’ll take on Mr. Jones.”

Posted by getplaning | Report as abusive

Glad to see him resign. A great win for the country. Now let’s watch closely to who fills the position for I am sure Obama will not terminate the position as he should. We have to watch our presidents and officials very very closely and strive to understand, respect and protect the wisdom of our founding fathers as well as the fundamental laws and ideas of our Constitution and Declaration of Independence.

Posted by jason | Report as abusive

There are those who want to turn this into a Republican/Democrat argument. Well, that isn’t the case when it comes to Van Jones. He was a major player in the Obama administration, as are all the CZARS. Until now, they were out of view creating a future for socialist future for us. The administration and its minions, hoped we wouldn’t notice. But we do notice and good riddance to Van Jones and his inflammatory, racist, socialist/communist ideology. All you have to do is listen to his diatribes against everything American and free. He is a poison to a free people.

Only fools make this into a partisan battle…

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

There’s nothing worse than somebody pretending to be non-partisan when they’re not. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, guess what? It’s a Republican duck. Keep quacking, TC.

Posted by getplaning | Report as abusive

yes TC looks like a duck quaked his way out of the white house.Incidentally no mention of any of this in the new york times etc.Well done Fox news and Glen Beck,but a prediction, look foreword to the return of the fairness doctrine or an other attempt to close down right wing criticism because that is the socialist signature.Also keep trying to correct and steer our friend GP to a more realistic outlook on affairs ,for some reason Reuters will not let me get near him?so it is left up to you.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

getplaning. You are correct. I am not a democrat, never have been, never will be. My viewpoint is conservative. Always has been, always will be. I am not a pretender.

With that said, the agenda this administration has in store for America is not a liberal or conservative issue. It is about our freedom and way of life. What they have in store, what Van Jones, had in store (Rememember Obama picked him…) and Obama has in store for America is not good for any of us, even you. You don’t want what they have in store for you. It isn’t good.

So, I don’t understand what your point was. My point was that this issue is not about democrats and republicans. It is about our freedom and survival as a nation. This is the worst administration we have ever had. They are trying to ram their agenda through before we find out we’ve been had…

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

Republican, Conservative, Teabagger, whatever you want to think of yourself, is not the point. When you spend months bashing the President, and defending everything the previous administration did, regardless of the outcome, and then post something like “Only fools make this into a partisan battle”, you are demonstrating textbook conservative hypocrisy in its purest form.

Posted by getplaning | Report as abusive

I make no apologies for not “cheering” for this administration. It is the worst start of the last 10 presidents and getting worse. There is nothing good that will come of anything on his agenda. He was elected with only 52 percent of the vote, but now at least 52 percent would not vote for him again if given the chance. People are rapidly running for cover because of the mistake they made voting against something and not for something. Now they are finding out what damage this administration plans to force on us.

As for the last administration, you have yet to prove they did anything wrong. This administration can’t prove anything and any story they and the media create dies in a few days. Why? Because you all have nothing…nothing at all.

My only point about the GWOT, is that we are here to talk about it as free people today. We were safe for 8 years. During the campaign, Mr. Obama railed against Iraq and said Afghanistan is where the true action is. Well, if you have been reading or watching the news. He is managing Afghanistan horribly. He doesn’t know what to do. His generals are screaming for more troops, but he is being timid and not sending any. He is losing and losing badly. So much for his tough talk during the campaign.

Then there is Iran. He said he wanted to sit down for a beer (artistic license about the beer) with the Iranian president, but he and his Ayatollahs don’t want anything to do with his “give peace a chance” BS. Same with Cuba, same with Venezuela. They look at America as patsies since he came into office. Yeah, he is showing them…he sure is…NOT!

If you think the last 8 years were bad (they weren’t…Bush had a higher approval rating at this same point in his first term…), then you haven’t seen anything yet. Thank God, Van Jones is gone…That is only the beginning.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

If the health care plan was defined TC then getplaning could rightly endorse the whatever bill,but because it has not, then he is to prepared to endorse a concept,this shows that he is operating out of pure ideology.In fact he is prepared to give Obama the “go a head” because he is impressed by Obama or because OB is a democrat and irrespective what ever the bills contains,it has his support, with these facts he has no other argument! He could argue that we would function the same way that,s possible, but what is SIGNIFICANTLY different is that independents do not operate with in these perimeters so that is Obamas biggest problem.Many of the independents have adequate insurance and might have sympathy with the uninsured, but they are not prepared to step into the unknown like getplaning with the impact of all the mounting trillions of dept hanging over their heads.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

No one is questioning your conservative credentials, TC. Just pointing out your self contradictory posts. For many Americans, the biggest underlying problem with politics this year is that conservatives like you have refused to show an ounce of humility in the wake of their spectacular failures and electoral humiliations.

You try to ignore the fact that conservative officials ran the entire federal government in the Bush/Cheney era, and their efforts were disastrous. Everything they touched burned to the ground. They failed on the economy. They failed on the budget. They failed on foreign policy. They failed on constitutional policy. They failed on environmental policy. They failed on health care, national security, education, and infrastructure. The very idea of Republican governing was a fiasco of historic proportions — their ideas and philosophy are thoroughly discredited. Prove they did anything wrong? Show us something they didn’t completely screw up.

And have they been deterred in the least in the face of humiliating failure? No, they are now acting as ridiculous as possible. They simply pretended that they hadn’t been discredited, and immediately launched a scorched-earth campaign to destroy the new governing majority. There has been no re-evaluation of failed policies, no reflection on failed leaders, no desire to move away from the far-right cliff, and no effort to reestablish some sense of policy credibility. Talk about having nothing at all… where is that “Alternative Health Plan” John Boehner was “putting the finishing touches on” last month? Any clue?

Posted by getplaning | Report as abusive

yes it is all pretty vague getplaning,on all sides and with all this supposed liberal intellectual superiority ,the blind still seam to be leading the blind.To give her credit the only constant message has been from Nancy Pelosi,a socialist single payment plan.Obama is not going to go all out for this option ,though,he knows he can still woe the left,but he is puzzled what to do because some of his middle ground disciples are defecting.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive