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Desirée Rogers, Obama Social Secretary, Shares White House Party Plans With Vogue

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In their February issue, on newsstands January 20th, Vogue profiled incoming White House social secretary Desirée Rogers. In the article, Rogers discusses what her new job will entail, what kinds of parties to expect, and whether we can come.

On her job description:

The mandate the Obamas have given her, Rogers said, "is about instilling pride." Her job "is helping people visualize what the Obama presidency is about, the feelings Americans voted for--inclusion, transparency, embracing people you might never otherwise learn about--and also translating the splendor, that sweetness, that comfort of the White House to everyone." She paused and smiled. "Enormous task."

Advice from the Kennedys' social secretary, Letitia Baldridge:

"Desirée is so poised and so charming, so substantial and capable, but nonetheless I told her how important it is to always stand up to the West Wing," Baldrige recounted later. "The West Wing is the men's side, and they will want to push you to put all those politicians on the dinner lists, and you've got to be strong and say no. Always represent what the First Lady and the president want. In the case of the Obamas, it's an exciting mix of people--not paybacks."

On inviting the public to White House events:

Rogers also commented on the possibility of instituting an Internet lottery to become a guest at a White House event, akin to the ones Obama ran during the campaign in which winners got to attend the presidential debates. "It would be fun," Rogers said, "but we've got to work all the details out"--including, in the spirit of transparency, Internet video coverage of these and other White House happenings.

On what else to expect:

"Will the president have impromptu pickup basketball games?" I asked.

"Probably," Rogers answered.

"With videos of the games posted on the Internet?"

"Why not?"

"What about celebrities? They seemed to have been banned during the campaign. Will celebrities be invited to the White House?"

She laughed. "Of course. Why not? They're people too. Remember, we are inclusive. We want everybody."

READ MORE HERE; full article will be in the February issue of Vogue.