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Desiree Rogers: Social Secretary Or Socialite?

Who is this woman?  Is she a special assistant to Michelle or the bloviator?  I’m just askin’.  I mean I’d never even heard of Obama before 2007 much less all these other people and now they’re in the White House running things.  And they’re not doing a very good job.  When I need to know something I always go to my favorite site. Hillary Is 44 said this about her earlier this week:

Many Americans are upset at the lavish Obama party spending in the face of so much economic dislocation. Even so, with all the assistants Michelle Obama has hired to keep her high on the hog, with all the employees dedicated to state dinner jobs, how do such “mishaps” happen? What do the little things say about the big things?

A little noticed Newsweek story clues us in to the fact that the Secret Service is taking all the blame when clearly something else is going on:

The White House staff member whose job was to supervise the guest list for state dinners and clear invitees into the events says she was stripped of most of her responsibilities earlier this year, prompting her to resign last June.

The account of Cathy Hargraves, who formerly served as White House “assistant for arrangements,” raises new questions about whether changes that she says were made by President Obama’s social secretary, Desiree Rogers, may have contributed to the security lapses that permitted Virginia socialites Michaele and Tareq Salahi to crash the state dinner for India’s prime minister last week and get themselves photographed with the president.

Hargraves tells Declassified in an exclusive interview that although she had originally been hired as a White House political appointee in 2001, she landed a new position on the White House residence staff in 2006 and was specifically detailed to the social office to work on state dinners.

Her job duties included overseeing the invitations for guests at state dinners and keeping track of RSVPs, she says. On the evening of state dinners, she says, she physically stood at the East Gate portico entrance and greeted each of the guests as they arrived, checking their names off a computerized printout of those who had been invited.

But when she met with Rogers last February and went over her job responsibilities, she says, the new social secretary told her, “We don’t feel we have a need for that anymore.” Rogers’s explanation, according to Hargraves: “In these economic times, I don’t think we’re going to have very many lavish expensive dinners. It wouldn’t look very good.

Was she too busy partying and prancing to bother checking the door?  What’s the deal about Cathy Hargraves?  Something had to happen for these people to get into the White House.  Either they new someone and they’ll take the fall soon or maybe there was a complete lapse in security.  I don’t believe the story about the Salahi’s and their show on Bravo and Bravo being owned by NBC.  Could this really be a publicity stunt?  A photo op?  A distraction?  Well, now we have Tiger, I mean Cheetah (thanks, Simo). There is more to the story and again Hillary Is 44 brings us up to date:

Publicity stunt Obama should immediately lose his job.

* * * * *

Unqualified and inexperienced Barack Obama is not the only one who should lose his job.

Valerie Jarrett, should lose her job too. For many earlier reasons and now for defending Desiree Rogers (who should lose her job too) and stating there is no need for Rogers to testify before the House Homeland Security Committee investigating the breach of security at the State Dinner for the Prime Minister of India, Valerie Jarrett should lose her job. That is only the latest reason why Jarrett should get the heave-ho. The Secret Service should not take a bullet for the incompetence of Desiree Rogers.

I found an article on NPR’s website today about her:

Before Desiree Rogers was social secretary and special assistant to the President, she was a queen. Twice.

Rogers’ late father, Roy Glapion, was president of the prestigious Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club, New Orleans’ oldest black Mardi Gras krewe. She was Queen of Zulu, an honor usually extended to a debutante or young woman deemed to be socially important, in 1988 and 2000. After college at Wellesley and business school at Harvard, Rogers and her then-husband, John Rogers (president of Ariel Capital Management) cut a high-profile swath through Chicago’s glittery gratin. And she’s regularly cited as one of the country’s best (and okay, most adventurously) dressed women.

All great preparation for her current job at the White House.

But Rogers’ style and glamour are a double-edged sword, one that might have drawn a little political blood over the past few days after the gate-crasher snafu.

Other social secretaries have stood on the steps to greet guests as they enter the White House for state dinners; it’s considered an extension of the first lady’s hospitality, since she can’t be there at the moment herself. Instead of greeting guests, Rogers functioned as one: she walked the press line, posed for photos and became fodder for the chattering classes by sticking out from the formal versions of Ann Taylor-wear normally seen at state occasions by coming to dinner in cutting-edge Japanese couture.

Some have even suggested that Rogers step down, since she can’t contain her own ego needs to serve the first lady. That probably won’t happen. For one thing, she has a powerful protector and loyal friend in Obama mentor Valerie Jarrett. For another, Michelle Obama values Rogers’ style and savvy; the first lady clearly feels her social secretary has her back when it counts, regardless of what she’s wearing.

Every new administration has its learning curve, and this may have been Rogers’ teachable moment. She didn’t get as far as she’s gotten by not grasping what’s important right away. And if I were a betting person — which I’m not — I’d be betting that she’ll be the woman overseeing the next state dinner, that she’ll be personally greeting guests as they ascend the White House steps and that she will still stun. But on official White House occasions, with slightly lower voltage.

Whatever is happening here it is clear that the Obama’s have brought all their Chicago crime lords with them to Washington.  I am sure we will find Michelle Obama’s corrupt fingerprints all over this.  She is dirty and her friends are criminals.  Valerie Jarrett should be in jail.  The people in her low income properties are suffering and she should be held accountable.

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