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White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers to step down



WASHINGTON--White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers told me Friday she will step down next month, after presiding over 330 events in the White House in 14 months.

Rogers is departing after achieving a major goal of President Obama and First Lady Michelle -- opening up the White House to make it the "peoples house."

"As we turn the corner on the first year," Rogers told me, "this is a good time for me to explore opportunities in the corporate world."

Rogers told me it has been "an honor and a privilege to serve this president and First Lady, in what has certainly been a historic presidency."

Rogers, a friend of the First Couple for years, was one of the first Obama administration appointees.

"When I took on this assignment, we talked about the importance of creating the people's house. My work was really to create this framework," she told me.

"I think I completed that work. Our office has been able to lay the foundation for what will be known as the 'people's house' and it has already taken shape."

Rogers tenure was marked by high points--she was a moving force behind a White House music series--and a low point, when the Obama's first state dinner was crashed by a publicity seeking couple, Tareq and Michaele Salahi. Though the Secret Service immediately said it was their fault--agents did not follow security protocols--Rogers got some of the blame.

I asked Rogers if the Salahi episode was a factor in her resignation. "The incident at the State Dinner was not a deciding factor," she told me. "But it did show me a side of the job and of Washington that I had not seen before."

After I spoke to Rogers, President Obama and First Lady Michelle said in a statement, "We are enormously grateful to Desiree Rogers for the terrific job she's done as the White House Social Secretary. When she took this position, we asked Desiree to help make sure that the White House truly is the People's House, and she did that by welcoming scores of everyday Americans through its doors, from wounded warriors to local schoolchildren to NASCAR drivers. She organized hundreds of fun and creative events during her time here, and we will miss her. We thank her again for her service and wish her all the best in her future endeavors."

I've been told by several sources that Rogers will be replaced by Julianna Smoot, the chief of staff to the U.S. Trade Representative who was the Obama presidential campaign chief fund-raiser.



Good!!!! She should have stayed as the lotto ball girl, she has no right being in Washington!!! How do you from the lotto at 9pm to Washington??? Blind leading the bling in D.c

Good riddance. Don't let the door hit you in the back on your way out.

Your incompetance allowed several uninvited guests into the "people's house."

I think Desiree has done a great job at implementing the structure for her position. This is a very savvy and smart professional who I beleive simply finished the job she came to do. She is now ready to get back in the environment of the movers and shakers as well as get back to making the millions of dollars she once mad. I'm also suspect that the scrutinizing that she has taken over the last copule of months is something she just does not need. I'm looking forward to hearing about her next move. I would love to meet her as I think she would be an awesome mentor and teacher for young women who aspire to be movers and shakers both politically and professional. No doubt in my mind we have not heard the last of Ms. Rogers. Question is will they fill her postion...if yes, I would love to send in my resume!

Isn't it also possible that she's being pushed out and that this is a kind, nice, face-saving way of her leaving? Plus, departures that are announced on Friday afternoon usually aren't the best kind. She's heading into the same area under the bus where Greg Craig and Cassandra Butts were thrown.....

Where is the bus? Gate Crashgate! Obama throws the Secret Service under the bus, as Rogers quietly slips out the back door.

Let's pick one: is it "peoples house", "people's house" or (I think correctly) "peoples' house"?


Thrown under the bus, eh Des?

If it is truly the people's house, why is it a group of 14 year old Girl Scouts could not possibly get admission tickets to see it last June? They planned a trip to Washington DC over the course of a year which finalized their requirements for the Silver Award, the second highest award in Girl Scouts. My girls were told White House tickets were not available to the general public. Crushed. I guess Girl Scouts are not the "right" people.

It didn't bother me at the time... until I heard Desiree Rogers refer to the phrase as the "peoples house". We certainly weren't the right people.

Senator Casey is not in his office on Mondays or Fridays. We were informed by his office those are travel days. His family time is very important. That leaves three days a week he works. I want that job at that salary and with those hours.

I think she did an amazing job!

This is NOT at all surprising. Desiree Rodgers's leaving was expected months ago. The problem sometimes when being "close friends" with important and powerful people is KNOWING where to draw the line between being the friend and the EMPLOYEE.

Desiree I feel, lost sight of her role as Social Secretary. She should NOT be mingling or behaving like one of the VIP guests at any of the social events she manages. When she's planning ALL WH social events, she needs to remember she is and EMPLOYEE, not the close friend. Bottom line.

I was not surprised at all by her resignation announcement. I'm surprised it took her so long to do so.

"Rogers is departing after achieving a major goal of President Obama and First Lady Michelle -- opening up the White House to make it the 'peoples house'."

Translation: "It's been long enough since her last disaster that Desiree can leave without attracting too much attention."

And what president and first lady ever announced that it was their goal to close off the White House to "the people" and turn it into a "house of privilege"? That's pretty much what they all do though they all declare the opposite.

Perhaps Obama's realized that if he wishes to stay a full eight year's in the "people's house" he must rid himself of most of the old Windy City Gang which helped him get elected. As a conservative I'll be sad but as an American I'll be relieved.

...and Carlos Allen. You always forget that Allen was a party crasher too. Why is that?
As for Desiree, she certainly did make it the "people's house!" It seems like ANYONE could walk in any time and rub shoulders with our leaders.

May I suggest a package deal on the moving van?
Take Valerie Jarret and Rahm Emanuel back to Chicago with you.

Well, maybe she can enroll in an English class, too, and that would be AN historic event.

From the article:

Rogers is departing after achieving a major goal of President Obama and First Lady Michelle — opening up the White House to make it the “peoples house.”

The more that is written about these two losers from Chicago, the more it sounds eerily similar to something you would read in Pravda. GAWK.


Yes, it was a huge blunder (and subsequent major embarrassment) not to have anyone from the WH Social office, who was completely knowledgeable about the guest list, stationed with the Secret Service at the entrance used by arriving guests on the night of the Indian State dinner. It actually was inexcusable.

That said, one incident, should not wipe away all the countless positive, constructive and successful accomplishments that Ms. Rogers achieved during her White House tenure. Fabulous and flawless events are taking place in the Obama White House.

I, for one, am sorry to see Desiree Rogers leave under this cloud.

The next social secretary should be someone who has demonstrated an expertise in coordinating high level social activities not a fund raising friend. I worked in a system that hired friends that weren't fully qualified to do the job. You know the rest of the story.

Back to dancing on the tables in Chicago.


We are witnessing the political evolution of our elecortate. Twenty four hour news cycles have transformed us from... I wonder what is happening to I know what is happening. Des was caught by instant analysis. Back in the day, this would have been melded back into obscurity. The press would have buried it, polititians explaning it away. Now it's becoming more difficult. While we pine away for Des, Congress tried to criminalize our CIA. Check out the bill they tried to pass, as the Prez was chatting yesterday. Poor Des just didn't realize it wasn't all about was all about the Indian Prime Minister. When are these chuckleheads going to figure out that they can't hide anymore. Can't wait to see how we evolve. America hasn't seen her best days yet. Stay tuned.

Desiree Ha Ha charade you are....

Desiree book, Oops People of Color Live There,
the story about Blacks living in the White House is a big seller, so she will be ok.

Clearly enough time and the embarrassment of the State Dinner have passed that her friends, the First Couple, are allowing her to save face as they usher her out the frontdoor. Guess Des isn't one of the "people" welcomed in the "house" anymore.

Perhaps if a qualified person was originally given the job, instead of the ex-wife of a very large financial political contributor, things would have been different.

Well Des guess you'll be available to try and scalp some front row seats for Fashion Week.

Phil Smith, give it a rest: she should ahve nevr been in that position. She as only given that job cause she was a buddy to Michelle. She wasn't good at the LOTTERY (although she did give herslef and her hubby a HEFTY salary), she stunk at PEOPLES GAS making herself the ONE and ONLY SPOKES PERSON on the commericals. So she will come back here looking stupid, but still get a high paying job cause OBOZO told DALEY to give her one. Maybe she can become alderman of the 29th ward, She is the same color as the THEIRF that left.

Ms. Rogers had an extremely difficult position. As a conserverative, I do admire the task she took on. Thank God nothing happened to the Indian State dinner and the representatives of India. What a tragedy that would have been. As history repeats itself we all know things like
this have happened when both parties are in power. At least the rooms are not being rented out as in a previous Clinton administration, but what do we "little people" know?

The President of the United States has the world's most difficult job and it takes lessons both good and bad, to accomplish what he and/or she envision.

I hope the next Social Secretary the best and would not take that job for all the "tea in China."

We need to support our elected officials and keep our confidence positive. We hope they do the same.

Mahalo Nui Loa to the President, Mrs. Obama and Ms. Rogers.

Politics - friend today - foe tomorrow - friend the next day. It is what it is. Party on.

You see from Illinois state lottery ball girl to Whitehouse? Who in this country makes decisions like this? I think all of our politicians need psychological exams before being deemed fit to hold office, especially any and all that come from Illinois or have any association with Mayor Daley, Crook County or Springfield. How much money did she pocket in Washington and from the Illinois state lottery? Someone should look into that too.

Ms. Rogers was a bad choice by the President. He has made a number of poor choices for his advisers including Axelrod, R Emanuel and others. His cabinet seems to be irrelevant. Duncan is an educational joke. Is basketball too important to our leader? I have been an avid Obama supporter. His centrist Clinton supporters failed miserably in their efforts. Why is he so fearful of leading? He is literate and articulate but where is his leadership?????? He seems unable to comprehend the necessity of needed HEALTH CARE? He is aloof, without passion and super intellectual. Where is his heart for his base and the US citizens in general? The Republicans are brain dead, childish, elitist and perpetrators. There is no credible rationalization for participating with the Republican party. NONE.

I had a feeling after the party crashers at the State Dinner, she would eventually leave. I was surprised with the visibility she received. Other social secretaries have always been behind the scenes. Well, the first year is always the hardest, and I guess the President and First Lady are learning how various things must be done.

We never should have expected a lotto girl to make it in the big leagues. Daley will find her a job with another big pension. Maybe prepare some parties or fundraisers for the Jackson clan.

Hey Phil, there are more Democrat millionaires in D.C. than Republicans. Bet you didn't know that. It's called a granfalloon, or popular misconception. You know, like the Democrat's are for the people and the Republicans are only for the rich. But, why are there more Democratic millionaires in Washington. Aargh, my head is going to explode from reality. Bye, Desiree. You only managed to ruin the careers of several Secret Service agents while you were there. Good job.

Sounds like a bunch of jealous, ignorant haters spewing unnecessary negativity. Take a good look at your own life tell me how it stacks up to Desiree Rogers!?

Desi will be sorley missed, she brought a fresh energy to the white(peoples) house, and the spark will leave when she does, but I guess they felt someone had to pay for the blundering idiots who slipped in under the radar. (leave it to whitefolks to f**k up a good thing).

From the "peoples house" to "peoples gas"?

I'm not sure why you opened this story to comments. Clearly it was fodder for the low lifes of the world to vent their spleens. Comments like "take an English class" first of all make no sense, second of all, show more about the commentator than Ms. Rogers, and finally, make your newspaper look like it's being read only by nasty little under achievers who have nothing better to do than find something to scream about - in this case the Obama administration. If this is what they express in print, imagine what they're like in their real lives.

I'm surprised that no one is commenting on 330 events in 14 months. After all the flack about Wall Street, does anyone seem concerned about "the pot calling the kettle black"? That's about one event everyday of Obama's term so far. Add up the cost of those events and see if they come near the amount a Wall Street executive is getting for a "bonus". Recession? Party on, Obama!

I dont understand why was she called a business-woman to start with... What was the business? the lotto? the street parade? or successful gossiping with the right people?

*Take an English class*- I doubt if the interview was in written form

Historic alright, historically bad.

I, as well as many others find it so strange, that this WH, has so many people who the vast majority [ALL] come from the same area as the Obama's and they all seem to think that there some how "entitled". They all seem to "just" pop up, they [All] seem to think in the Obama "lock step", they [All] give the feeling that there some how a few steps above the rest of the country.
I, hate to be the breaker of {news} be it good or bad, but this presidency, has failed to take into account that there are many citizens of this country who are just as (smart) or (smarter) then they are. The correct term is Intelligent/Intelligence.
To be hired for a job, but not to be "vetted", only means to me, that it was not that you had knowledge of anything, but you were connected to someone, again who was again connected to someone else. It's who you knew...not what you knew. Thats, this administration method of operation..."you helped me get here, so, I'll repay you with this (high power, no nothing, do nothing job), but if you make Any noise, your gone". Remember...Mr. Van Jones!

I wrote a very nice comment, but maybe, as the old saying goes..."the truth hurts", is why, it has not been printed. So goes the :"Freedom of Speech".

Too bad Des got her reputation trashed by a couple white trash grifters. Where are those two scumsuckers now?

Desiree, did an Excellent Job as the WH Social Secretary she will be missed a great a deal. I think she got dealt a very bad hand and got stuck holding the ball. She did exactly what she was hired to do and that was open up the white House and make it the people's house. She brought a whole new pack of freash Energy to the landscape of the White House. So all the lame comments needs to stop and just know you'll have not seen the last of Ms, Rodgers she will evolve again very soon.

Enlightened liberals have written about posters on the blog: ignorant, lowlife, nasty little underachievers. On side notes there were references to white trash and the white folks controlling things. Somebody please give the count of slurs from the conservative side, please.

"How do you from the lotto at 9pm to Washington???" Because we're in America. Land of janitors working their way up to CEO and temps becoming President of major film studios.

How dare you or anyone else condemn this woman for working towards something more than her current station in life? Shame!

To Kevin (Feb. 26):
It's "people's house." It would be "peoples' house" only if the plural of "person" were "peoples."

to the woman with the girl scout troup. It is my understanding that the only way one has ever been able to get a tour of the White House is to ask for tickets through your Representative 4-6 months in advance. I do think the Obamas have opened the White House more than any others by inviting school children, families, military families,Gay parents and their children, etc. All seem to be welcome, there is just, as has always been the case, a protocol to follow because of the immense demand.

whatever you say about this woman....She has Class too....She doesn't belong to the lowest of the low,mind you.This lady comes from a very good family,excellent choice with brains!!!!
unlike all these republican and tea drinking poison...attacking health care and behind closed doors they gets socialized medicines..Ms.Rogers,is above all these low class of republican pundits.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Nikki Muehlhausen published on February 26, 2010 12:26 PM.

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