White House social secretary Desiree Rogers to resign
White House social secretary Desiree Rogers, a friend of President Obama's from Chicago, is leaving her job to return to the private sector, a senior White House official confirmed Friday.
Rogers' tenure as the top party and events planner for the administration was marred by the Salahi gate-crashed incident
, in which a Virginia couple managed to enter the White House grounds during Obama's first state dinner last November.
Aides have said Rogers had hoped the job would give her a broader platform from which to help manage arts policy, something that did not develop given the economic issues that dominated the administration's first year.
Rogers had been widely expected to leave, and a senior administration official said on Friday it should be "no surprise" that she would want to return to the private sector. Her skills were not seen as particularly well-suited to the detail-oriented grind of social secretary, and Rogers, who had a high profile in Chicago long before taking the job, seemed to chafe at its limitations.
Another senior administration official also confirmed Rogers' resignation, saying that, the decision had been made, and Rogers notified, at least by Christmas time. According to the official, the gatecrashing episodes of the state dinner proved decisive for her tenure.
"It was an incredibly high profile moment," said the official.
But the official added that several people in the White House always had reservations about Rogers' penchant for fabulous fashion and her appearance on magazine cover. That said, the official noted she was an especially hard worker, who had a lot of successes, including Sunday's National Governors' Association dinner at the White House.
Still, the security fiasco
at the state dinner for the prime minister of India proved to be an embarrassment, and when she tried to reassert herself, she was quickly shot down, forced into a lower profile, and less ostentatious gowns.
"Once the state dinner deal went down," said the official. "People who had other political agendas started micromanaging every part of her business."