Desiree Rogers | As They Say on 'Washington Week', Bye Bye

White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers will resign.RedTracker| Desiree Rogers will resign as White House Social Secretary, after 14 months on the job, saying it’s time to pursue opportunities in the corporate world. This is the second major shakeup in the East Wing and not a total surprise, given the ongoing investigation into a White House security breach investigating the Nov. 24 White House dinner.

Rogers is considered to be a dynamic WH Social Secretary, carving out new visibility for herself with magazine interviews and fashion appearances. Women weren’t kind to Rogers. Newsweek’s Gaggle blog writes:

When she arrived in DC, reporters and the establishment couldn’t get enough of her, enamored of the notion that this young, gorgeous, successful black woman was the one holding the keys to the Obama social calender. But Washington friends are fickle, and soon after the party was crashed, Maureen Dowd and Robin Givhan unsheathed their knives. Dowd said that the fashionista had been be cruising for a bruising all year, while Givhan implied that she’d spent more time attending parties than organizing them, portraying her as a brazen self-promoter. A town that welcomed Rogers with open arms seemed pretty quick to turn on her for exactly the reasons we were excited about her in the first place.

Pamela Joyner and Desiree Rogersat The School of American Ballet Winter Ball 2009Rogers ticked off the West Wing upon her arrival, saying that she was building the ‘Obama brand’. Any businessperson understands her point but Washington insiders cringed, especially the West Wing. Conservative pundits had a field day.

A superbly well-manicured fashionista, Desiree Rogers leaves the WH Summer 2009

To be honest, the entire Obama team is under the microscope, with insiders and outsiders, too, wondering how a presidential team that seemed so buttoned up and on point upon arrival in DC, has struggled for a clear, consistent ‘brand message’ and executable mission statement.

Michelle Obama’s Chief of Staff Jackie Norris was replaced by Susan Scher, Michelle’s good friend in June 2009 for a ‘retooling’ of the First Lady’s agenda. The First Lady’s poll numbers have remained high. On the one hand, what’s not to love, as the First Lady has powerfully emerged as a great mother, gardener and advocate on children’s obesity.

Behaving even more traditionally than Laura Bush at times, Michelle Obama has demonstrated a clear comprehension of how to get the job done, in bipartisan, conservative and liberal America. More modern women can critique her First Lady approach as old-fashioned. With the future health of the country at stake, her priority is hardly small potatoes. Anne

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