Gatecrashers Saga

Desiree Raises D.C. Eyebrows

White House social secretary Desiree Rogers had been ruffling feathers among the Washington elite long before reality-TV show wannabes Tariq and Michaele Salahi crashed a State Dinner and made Rogers national news. The social secretary’s role has traditionally been a nearly invisible one, but when Rogers breezed into town from Chicago, she made it clear she’d be shaking things up. When she sat down for lunch with social secretaries of administrations past, she drew audible gasps when she mentioned that the White House might not display the traditional manger among its Christmas decorations. The designer gown she wore to the State Dinner was atypically not conservative. And she dared to serve Indian food to the Indian prime minister, despite the potential to fall short. But now that the gatecrashers fiasco has focused so much scrutiny on Rogers, the White House—despite strongly praising her performance—has pushed her out of the spotlight. She has granted no interviews and will not testify before Congress. Rogers, who shunned invisibility, now seems desperate for a little bit of it.