NEW YORK TIMES – POLITICS
On Thursday evening, the White House social secretary, Desirée Rogers, presided over yet another glittering event, with luminaries like Sarah Jessica Parker sipping sparkling wine while Rita Moreno, star of the film “West Side Story,” danced to the Marine orchestra’s rendition of the score.
Desirée Rogers, with the White House adviser David Axelrod, was criticized for her handling of the Obamas’ first state dinner.
On Friday afternoon, Ms. Rogers said she would resign soon, after a year that was groundbreaking but grueling, filled with criticism of her statements, her handling of the Obamas’ first state dinner and even her designer outfits.
“It has nothing to do with being glamorous — that is all make-believe in the eyes of the press,” she said in a telephone interview. “I’ve always dressed this way. This is who I am.”
She added that she had planned to stay for only a year, that she had accomplished what she wanted and that she planned to return to the corporate world.
Ms. Rogers is the latest lead character in a familiar Washington tale: the outsider and presidential friend who comes to town to do things differently, and finds both great success and withering censure. She is the first social secretary with a master’s in business administration — from Harvard — and the first African-American in the role.
She has been proud to serve “a historic presidency for all Americans, but particularly for African-Americans,” she said. “That is part of the reason I came out to do the job.”
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