February 26th, 2010
05:30 PM ET
13 years ago

White House social secretary to step down

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/26/art.desireerogers.3.gi.jpg caption="White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers will step down."]Washington (CNN) - Desiree Rogers, the White House social secretary, plans to step down, three sources familiar with the situation told CNN Friday.

Her office came under scrutiny after a couple who lacked an invitation showed up at President Barack Obama's first state dinner.

Officials with the White House and the administration, as well as a colleague of Rogers, told CNN of her plans to leave.

UPDATE: In an e-mail to CNN's Suzanne Malveaux, Rogers said she is headed back to the private sector.

"It has been incredible setting the foundation for the WH for this historical Presidency," she wrote.

Read President Obama's statement after the jump.

Statement from the President and the First Lady on Desiree Rogers

“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.”

- CNN's Ed Henry and John King contributed to this report

soundoff (243 Responses)
  1. james

    Sue February 26th, 2010 3:21 pm ET
    It is GREAT that the swamps are now being drained.

    The house of cards is falling fast.

    The Obama, Pelosi, and Reid house of corrupt, socialism/marxism-is falling fast-–and will be bull dozed over with the 2010 elections.
    Sue, do you even know what socialism/marxism really means? You sound like the rest of the republican parrots. matter of fact, like joe the plumber. ranting for nothing and you dont have any idea why.

    You have a black man as president, get over it. anything or anyone is better than the 8 years of bush bull we went through. he had all of you brainwashed on fear and creating terror among the people of the US. guess who was at the wheel when we were attacked? yet bush and cheney will tell you how unsafe we are not that they are not in office.

    as a result we have innocent kids dying for nothing in 2 wars.

    February 26, 2010 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  2. jerseylou

    Costly Mistake, the blame shouldn't only be on Rogers.There's plently to go around. The people that broke in,security detail and etc.

    February 26, 2010 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  3. Jan

    I was hopeful as a black person living in Americ that the election of the fist Black Pesdent signified something hopeful for the people of this great country.

    To my disillousiionment it seems to have brought out the worst in the people with blatant racism from even the people in powere who hope to lead this great country in the future.

    Americ will survive but I woory about the relationships among our people.

    Please less hate.. What we need is LOVE

    February 26, 2010 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  4. 7papa7

    You have to wonder if she is stepping down of her own or is Obama throwing her under the bus because he got caught with Muslims who have radical ties at one of his get togethers. You know he would never take the blame for anything.

    February 26, 2010 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |

    To all you right wingers/tea partiers/lovers of the pig with lipstick/facilitators of the rich,while you struggle, get it through your head that you will be in the MINORITY for a LONG LONG TIME.
    We will not forget what George and Dick did to this country,and put us in the situation we are now. Our President Barack Hussein OBama is trying his best to pull us out, while your party continues its racist/hypocritical policies trying to keep us in the hole.
    Since when are you lovers of the pig with lipstick, concerned about spending and govt and country and america. You are only using these things to hid behind your REAL reason for opposing President OBama,the fact that he is a Black man, and you CAN,T handle it.

    February 26, 2010 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  6. leslie Lawrence

    I have to laugh at most of these comments from people who have no idea of what her job entailed, how hard she worked, how much she cared about her performance, etc. All you care about is bashing the President and First Lady. How about some whine with that cheese?
    An old joke but you certainly deserve it. Finally a highly intelligent, thoughtful, vibrant President (who works into the wee hours unlike Bushki who went to be at 9 no matter what) ... after 8 years of ignorance, deceit, disloyalty, betrayal, depravity. Cheney in a wheelchair and Bush being booed by thousands and thousand of happy people – brilliant, fantastic! Of course The White House has a lot of social events, all administrations do so.... do some research instead of blathering. If you are at all informed you will know that education is the basis for most of their events, children learning about agriculture, science, art, and healthy lifestyles. Wake up and stop listening to shock jocks for your news and political science. Shameful how uppity you sound.

    February 26, 2010 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  7. zircus

    That's too bad. She has the appearance of being very polished, organized, and meticulous.

    I think her major mistake was to publicize herself so heavily right after the Obamas won the White House. As a social secretary, you do not publicize yourself and your accomplishments – your job is to highlight the poise and class of the folks you represent. The fact that she didn't understand this tells me that she had no comprehension of how Washington DC works.

    The interview she did with the Wall Street Journal magazine stands out the most – in a time of recession, I couldn't believe she posed in those large diamond earrings on the front cover. As soon as I saw that cover, I knew it was only a matter of time before she was asked to leave.

    After all, who knows the names of the social secretaries of any of the past several First Ladies? No one. There's only one social secretary anyone knows, and that's Letitia Baldridge – and she was far too discreet to hand out interviews and photo ops while working for Mrs. Kennedy; that only happened well after the Kennedy years.

    But that being said, I thought all the events she organized on behalf of the Obamas were lovely. It's really too bad that the first state dinnner of the Obamas is only remembered for those ridiculous crashers. It looked absolutely beautiful from the photos, the dinner got rave reviews, and everything else went meticulously.

    February 26, 2010 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  8. STL 4 OBAMA

    It's a shame that "people" cannot comment strictly on the story, but have to bring in racial stereotypes to make their point. Are you not smart enough to have a comment based on the story or do you have to racial overtones to make yourself feel better?

    February 26, 2010 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  9. Lorelei

    I am surprised at the comments about the 'bumbling' aids of the President. They are not 'bumbling' anything! All their actions are planned (very well) to turn America into another third world country. Think about it – it started with Obama's predecessors. Selling our ports, our roads, rewarding corporations for moving overseas, rewarding corporations for stealing, refusing unemployment help to AMERICANS who have had their legs cut out from under them, trying to sell our Airlines, even ensuring that the Wind Turbines erected in this country are manufactured in CHINA.....the list goes on. This has been long in the planning and the steps are being carried out exactly when they should be. I am sure that this president, like many of the most recent, are merely following orders. The powers that be don't want independent minded AMERICANS to exist, much less thrive. And they certainly don't want us to be armed – that is why THEY are using the U.N. to force us to give up our guns. Yup – they are going to make an end-run around our constitution. This country is systematically dismantled – make no mistake about it.

    February 26, 2010 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  10. K**hater

    Are blacks in government so viciously attacked b/c Obama is in power. First Van Jones, Now Desiree Rogers. what ever this is disguise under, it has to do with race...
    Well...the Tea baggers will get "their America" back...

    February 26, 2010 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  11. james

    TCM February 26th, 2010 3:46 pm ET
    this is what happens when you bring inner-city thug cronyism into the White House...Obama's a street activist thug at best; and Rodgers' level of expertise might be to organize the barbecue chicken grilling at a church picnic.....anything above that level...well, their perfomance speaks for itself.
    the party of racists never seems to amaze me. you could have put a monkey in office and not down any worse than what bush/cheney put this country though. "barbecue chicken grilling at a church picnic." c'mon, lets get real. any party that has sarah palin as the face of their party can't be all that intelligent. I know, katie couric badgered her by asking her 3rd grade questions! so much hate for the president when bush destroyed this country. too funny.

    February 26, 2010 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  12. Ellie

    Why is anyone surprised? I expected her resignation months ago.

    The BIG mistake Desiree made was thinking she was a WH VIP GUEST while working as the Social Secretary.

    A social secretary NEVER mingles or behaves like one of the VIP Guests at events she is managing. Desiree clearly crossed the line between EMPLOYEE and FRIEND. She should never be seen mingling, schmoozing and hob-nobbing with White House dignitaries and VIP Guests. Bottom line.

    February 26, 2010 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  13. rysy

    TCM, did you have to put any thought into that racist comment? Or, did it just F-L-O-W from your brain effortlessly? I really want to know.

    February 26, 2010 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  14. notamused

    funny to see all the folks here trying to defend this lady. If she had been the "social secretary" for a republican she would have been pulled by her nose in front of some sort of committee and threatened with legal action.

    I will say this though, there are thousands of people that work for the president so no mater who is in office there will be a bad apple that needs to go. The bigger issue is that there are thousands of people working in the whitehouse. all making a good chunk of change with benifits. It is time to cut down the size of washington so we cut down the potential of liabilities.

    February 26, 2010 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  15. GaryB

    I'm an independent. I wasn't a big Obama supporter. But the selective memory of the "conservatives" on these boards drives me nuts.

    To the guys on here who blame the Obama administration for all their economic woes...

    Unemployment was already rocketing up during the last 5 months of the Bush adminstration. From 2001-2008, real earnings for over 90% of Americans stagnated or went down. inflation went up. Unemployment never got back down to the low numbers of the mid to late 1990s.

    To those who call the Obama administration hyper-partisan...
    He has tried to reach across the aisle more times in one year than Bush did in 8.

    To those who accuse Obama of redistributing wealth, giving handouts, etc... The Bush tax cuts redistributed wealth from the working middle class to passive income earners (basically those who earn more wealth because they're already wealthy) in a manner that hasn't been seen since the dawn of the 20th century. It was welfare for rich people.

    February 26, 2010 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  16. Dannyboy

    WOW mom! Look at all of the racist and Obama haters!

    You guys really need to get a life. Can tell from your positng that most of you are within the same family tree that is growing straight up.

    I wish Desiree all the best. She is kind and unselfish and I applaud her for taking the hit on this when she didn't have too. BRAVO ZULU Desiree! She is doing this, you idiots, for the betterment of the Administration. She doesn't have to go.

    February 26, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  17. Monster Zero

    I could care less what color he is, he is RED on the inside and has an entitlement big Government attitude and far left progressive political ideology. He and his policies would disgust me just as much if he were white, black, green, red and yes, sorry China that now owns us thanks to Washington elitists fiscal failures, even yellow. Blacks should wake up and figure out he is not who they think he is, he is simply using his race to further his political agenda on their backs and their votes.

    February 26, 2010 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  18. Gues

    Why is it that as soon as someone criticizes anyone from this administration, they are deemed haters and racists. Seems to me, those who are doing the pointing are the ones who are haters and racist against non-African American people.

    February 26, 2010 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  19. Oh no, please say it ain't so....

    Please don't leave, there's still more of us out here wanting to crash a WH Parteeeeee, with you gone, we will have to go through normal secure channels.

    February 26, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  20. Dan

    Can I just crash at her farewell party?

    February 26, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  21. barbara

    TCM: Do you have any idea how ignorant you sound. You should be ashamed.

    February 26, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    Wow, if nothing else proves that trisomy is a rampant disease among GOPers, this comment section sure as heck does. Grow up, tards.

    February 26, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  23. Anthony Lazzarini

    Quit, she should have been fired for incompetence, but then again she works for the government so we can't use incompetence as a reason for termination or we would have no government.

    February 26, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  24. Frank

    Some of the people commenting on this page can't spell, read or write. They just choose to murder english language. Probably thge same people demand others speak english. Rather than spen time on these pages sucking up good conversation, go to school, then may be you won't be so angry when you can't communicate.

    February 26, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  25. BW

    This woman has to leave her job because of White House crashers but the media want to give the Salahis (the crashers) a tv show. Shows what is important doesn't it? Sure does – anything to try and discredit the President and his appointments.

    February 26, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
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