I’ve spent a lot of time talking to scores of people about the pending resignation of Desiree Rogers as White House Social Secretary. Lots of them are pretty darn upset. I was too but I’m past it now.
What I learned in these vent-fests is that Ms. Rogers’ appeal reaches beyond the novelty of her existing White House role. The global sisterhood supports Ms. Rogers because she defied the multiple stereotypes that plague professional women. Many women (from all walks of life and ethnic groups) told me that they adore Mrs. Obama but desire to emulate Ms. Rogers.
Well, here she stood before us - the Ivy League educated, attractive, single, successful careerist who loves fashion and appears to have (can I say this out loud?) a life outside of work. Consequently, she was unlike any professional woman ever spotlighted in the American media. Many of us latched onto the imagery of Ms. Rogers with excitement. But, we were later disappointed by what we perceived to be unfair treatment of her in the “court of public opinions.”
Whether or not Ms. Rogers did a good job during her tenure at The White House will continue to be debated. I don’t know if she sent out Christmas cards to top donors, didn’t properly coordinate security with the Secret Service for the first State Dinner, or if she disrupted the warped social fiber of Washington by not "kissing the rings" of the self appointed social doyennes.
And really at this point, it’s all water underneath the bridge don’t you think?
So, I’m turning the page. I’m ready to witness the next exciting leg of Ms. Rogers’ journey.
Her role as our country’s first Black White House Social Secretary is but one chapter in the life of a very talented and accomplished woman.
Her commitment to philanthropy, her elegant demeanor, and stylish sensibility is what intrigues and inspires most of us. Her star quality is unquestionable.
And that will not change.