Desirée Rogers is leaving the White House with a chip on her shoulder. In a profile in the New York Times, a host of sources close to Rogers say that Obama’s outgoing social secretary feels the administration hung her out to dry in the Salahi dust-up. “As she put it, ‘They never lifted a finger to help me set the record straight,’” says one associate.
Tension was building even before the incident. Rogers’ appearance in a magazine photo shoot wearing a $3,495 dress with $110,000 earrings struck many in the administration as tone deaf, given the recession. David Axelrod also took issue with her talk about the “Obama brand,” telling her, “The president is a person, not a product.” Immediately afterward, Michelle Obama cancelled Rogers’ appearance at an MTV dinner, and assigned her chief of staff to monitor future ones—to Rogers’ constant annoyance.