November 10th, 2009
12:07 PM ET
5 years ago

Dunn leaving White House

Washington (CNN) - White House Communication Director Anita Dunn – who recently drew headlines for her criticism of Fox News – will be leaving her post at the end of November, administration officials confirmed Tuesday.

Dunn, who took the post on a temporary basis, had originally been slated to leave the job at the end of the summer, but stayed on at President Obama's request. She will be replaced by Deputy White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer, and retain a consulting role.

After months spent largely behind the scenes, Dunn burst into public view when she charged that Fox News was acting as an arm of the Republican Party. She later drew controversy after Fox host Glenn Beck broadcast footage of a comment in which she appeared to speak favorably about former communist Chinese leader Mao Tse-Tung. Watch: Dunn goes on the offensive vs Fox.

Pfeiffer, who headed the Obama communication shop during the 2008 presidential campaign, is a Democratic political veteran who has also worked for former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and Sen. Evan Bayh as well as Vice President Al Gore's 2000 presidential campaign.


Dunn, a seasoned political operative, assumed the role earlier this year when then-Communications Director Ellen Moran left the post for a role at the Commerce Department.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (153 Responses)
  1. Jube

    It's all about money and fear for the republicans. Money needs to flow and isn't really anyone's. Money does not belong to you or anyone. It is something we invented and does not really have ownership. It needs to flow in and out of your hands. If you can do that, you will obtain true power and status, which appears to be what republicans and those who follow the republicans so desperately want.

    Remember, you can't always get what you want. Go after what you truly need. Check out: "The Soul of Money" online.

    November 10, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  2. Tony

    Glann Beck 15 Administration ZERO. And all he is doing is showing them in their own words, pointing out obvious lies and asking questions this administration can't or won't answer. The WH really looks stupid here. AGAIN!!!!

    November 10, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  3. Jane

    Glen Beck will say anthing and try to distroy anybody to keep up his ratings. He will make million's like Hannity and Rush and you people on here are probley living from pay check to paycheck and are worring about losing your job and ins. and you listen to people like this who only preach hate What a joke.

    November 10, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  4. David in St. Louis

    So let me get this straight...

    1. Dunn calls out FOX for being communications arm of conservative/republican agenda.
    2. Beck and other conservative FOX commentators say she is wrong.
    3. She steps down (part of plan all along).
    4. FOX and FOX-watching conservatives celebrate her departure.

    If Dunn had it all wrong about FOX, why are conservative FOX-defenders the only ones cheering? Why are conservatives the only ones disagreeing with her?

    Are there any conservatives out there who actually disagree with the substance of the original supposition: that FOX leans heavily to the right? Does ANYONE actually dispute this?

    Why is self-examination absent from the right? Why is Dunn's statement of the obvious so controversial?

    November 10, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  5. Big Blue Patriot

    Actuaklly, this was planned as a temporary appointment right from the outset.

    By the way, Ms. Dunn is a Republican.

    Nice, try, righties.

    November 10, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  6. Tune in to FOX for news

    Thank goodness for FOX... exposed another one!

    November 10, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  7. Fred

    Why the glowing terms for her. She is NO seasoned operative, but just another left wing mouthpiece. If she was a conservative, CNN would have spent days after day attacking her.

    She is no Dana Perino, who was polite and hard working

    November 10, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  8. chat

    I never watched FOX before but ... I changed.

    Annita Dunn should step down. No one should point his/her finger at a press/news media who has different view from you. Freedom of press, freedom of speech. This is what DEMOCRACY IS ALL ABOUT!

    OBA-MAO.

    November 10, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    Why the glowing terms for her. She is NO seasoned operative, but just another left wing mouthpiece. If she was a conservative, CNN would have spent days after day attacking her.

    She is no Dana Perino, who was polite and hard working

    November 10, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  10. chat

    CNN, thanks for reporting the news for us.

    I watched your show for 20 years and I never turned to other news channels. But your election coverage of 2008 kept me away. I felt so sad that your election coverage were so unfair and so unbalanced so I switched channel and I found FOX.

    To be honest, I still come to surf your site once in a while. Hope you can win viewers like us, ex-dems, now INDEPENDENTS back.

    November 10, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  11. Wilfredo

    Um, read the article. The job was always temporary and she's not going anywhere. She's going to retain a consulting role.

    November 10, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  12. ann

    Good bye Anita Hope you learned your lesson

    November 10, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  13. jrzshor

    it is comforting to know that she is NOT being fired.

    that she is leaving after dediccating more of her precious time to obama than she was originally meant to stay.

    good for her. she served the president well. she was able to communicate to use the vast array of world wide evil-doers that obama must face: O'Reilly, Hannity, Beck and FOX NEWS.

    November 10, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  14. mark

    Anita Dunn is Done The White House belongs to the people of America who love this country and the free press not to those who bad mouth the freedom to voice their comment on Fox or any others that differs from theirs

    November 10, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  15. Pete Spagna Jr

    All you republicans....you only think about power and not what is best for the country. Lee Atwater from you beloved Reagan era first quoted Moa in a favorable light...further Obama has a better approval rating by 2 points than Reagan did at the same point in his presidency. Further Reagan supported universal health care but was a coward who bent for his party which will never support it because they will lose all their kickbacks from the insurance companies. Fact and Republicans just don't mix...I guess there "aint no fixin' stupid." There will be no landslide on 2012...the republicans and their party are an old, white dying breed and I am happy to see them all go....

    November 10, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  16. We Won Get Over It

    Oh dear..beck is gonna say he ran her out. Even tho you can go back and find the reports when she took the job temporarily, they will still say they ran her out.

    Republicans any chance to spin a lie,,,boy they will hop right to it. How in the world can any intelligent, honest, caring person in this country say they are republican is beyond me...Most of those who appear in the public eye, are the worst type of bottom dweller there is.

    November 10, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  17. lil

    These people dont read they just listen to beck he is their source of the
    truth. So dont waste your time trying to explain.

    November 10, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  18. Seriously, Left

    And she worked on Dasche's and Gore's campaigns. I guess working for losers is a good way to build your resume and land a job in this administration.

    November 10, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  19. RLA

    Forget whether she stays or goes. Read the comments to this story and you'll find what's really wrong with America. Just look at JACK IN DENVER'S comments. Scary that that type of thinking even exists.

    We're bitter, angry and almost hate each other if you look at what makes the commenters write what they do.

    Does anyone else see what's happening here? Taking a position is one thing, having an opinion is proper...but the viciousness from any side or position doesn't nothing but breed the degradation of the good old USA.

    Cut the attitude folks and find some decent way to respond.

    Sad.

    November 10, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  20. Nini

    I still need to know why Obama chooses these people?
    I still need to know why Obama has such questionable links?
    I still need to know what is it that Obama admires about these people?

    You know why I don’t have these answers, because you haven’t asked the right questions CNN.

    November 10, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  21. elliott

    Seeeee Yaaaa!!
    One down....quite a few to go

    November 10, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  22. MARK

    She was a disgrace and a distraction anyway. Good-bye to her

    November 10, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  23. Monster Zero

    Now if we could just get rid of the rest of them and talk them into talking the Clinton's with them we could start to rebuild our Nation!

    November 10, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  24. Pee Wee

    Always nice how they add "took the job on a temporary basis" every time one of these clowns screws up. Nice after the fact addition to make it seem to lessen the impact. Pitiful.

    November 10, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  25. Doug

    I guess she will be in charge of NBC news, keepers of Obama"s flame. This White House has been pathetic in failing to be transparent or trans anything.

    November 10, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
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