Elitist Obama caves again! Glamorously incompetent Desirée Rogers' replacement as White House social secretary wears khaki and used to work at a truck stop. Michelle will be trading her finely tailored Vivienne Westwood slacks for velour tracksuits by year's end.
A New York Times Style section
exposé profile reveals new Social Secretary Julianna Smoot as "the anti-Desirée." We still don't know where she shops for clothes, and there is not a single picture of her on a red carpet in all the internet.
Ms. Smoot, 42, is a Smith College graduate and true small-town Southern belle, who two decades ago waited tables at a North Carolina truck stop by day and attended debutante parties at night, and then as Mr. Obama's national finance director ran an operation that enlisted small givers and millionaires alike, shattering records.
Friends describe her fashion sense as casual rather than couture. Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, for whom Ms. Smoot once worked, said: "She kind of dresses like, if I were a woman, how I would dress. I don't think it would stand out, but it's always appropriate."
"If Daschle were a woman" being among the more damning characterizations of femininity D.C. has heard in a while. Desirée may have been the first choice—slick, stylish, a close Obama friend and Anna Wintour hobnobber—but Smoot is the post-honeymoon pick. Her claim to fame: raising a legendary $21M for Daschle in 2004, then a more-legendary $75M for Sen. Chuck Schumer in 2006, then beating that legend ten-fold with some $750M for Obama. Desirée's reign as social secretary was a highbrow fantasy, a cosmopolitan update on JFK queen of decorum Letitia Badridge, whom the Times describes as "synonymous with etiquette." If Smoot's record is an indicator, her reign will be about the more political art of "donor maintenance." With any luck, she won't choke so hard at pedestrian concerns like security, too. [NYT]