The Obama's new star social secretary
The president and first lady have replaced one star in the social secretary position with another. The difference is that the new one knows how Washington works and what's expected.
Julianna Smoot has been knocking around the Capitol for years. Currently, she is the chief of staff to U.S. Trade Rep Ron Kirk. But she has worked for Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Chris Dodd (D-Conn.). Smoot was finance director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee under Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). She was senior advisor to former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle. Smoot engineered Obama's monster 2008 presidential fundraising effort. And she was a senior adviser to President Obama and co-chaired the Inaugural Committee. So she has a relationship with the Obamas and can continue to put their stamp on the people's house.
Of course, she's not nearly as close to them as is outgoing social secretary Desiree Rogers, an intimate from the Chicago days. But, as The Post's Robin Givhan wrote after the Salahi fiasco, part of the problem may have been that Rogers saw herself as more social peer than social manager. She never seemed to get that she was staff.
And now Rogers is leaving. “As we turn the corner on the first year," she told Lynn Sweet, who broke the story for the Chicago Sun-Times, "this is a good time for me to explore opportunities in the corporate world.” A star has been set free.
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