For days now I've been gripped with a gnawing sense of fear and loathing at the thought of our First Family's Social Secretary. Desiree Rogers is too evident, too grasping and too ambitious for me to ignore her any more.
It started with appearances and lengthy stories on her in the Wall Street Journal, Vogue and countless smaller rags, all celebrating her brilliance(MBA from Harvard), accomplishments (heading an oil/power concern in Illinois) and the crowning glory on her pin head of being best girlfriends with Michelle Obama. Her ambitious, power-brokering got her the plumb job of the official Social Secretary to the Obamas. I guess having played a similar role for a utility company makes her uniquely suited. It's her incredible self regard that is her most valuable credential. Desiree is the ultimate example of one who thinks her gas is a luxe scent blended just for her. Well a fart is a fart by any name and she has a cloud that's growing around her daily.
You might think that a tasteless and unwarranted jab, but I have reasons for my low opinion of the White House Social Secretary. Her shameless self promotion is not an asset for the First Family. It looks like they don't know better than to choose a power junkie instead of someone powerful working behind the scenes for them.Perhaps, she got the job with the help of Grandma who was a Voodoo Priestess. I have the feeling that Desiree feels on equal footing with our First Lady. That is a clerical error as I see it. She is not the First Lady. She shows up at the collections as a stand-in for a Michelle Obama. I've always respected Michelle's priorities as being an astute and successful Lawyer, wife, mother and not someone desperate to attend the opening of every tawdry collection and colostomy bag in and out of town. Perhaps out of politeness Michelle delegated those appearances to Desiree in order to have a representative for herself and the White House. It was certainly necessary with the Fashion Industry having anointed the First Lady as the Savior of our industry simply because she wore a string of mid range and low end designers to all sorts of events. Do the math: If a First Lady can meet the Queen of England in Gap and Jason Wu, she's GOT to be a Fashionista!. So the job was taken up with unseemly glee by the secretary (very Eve Harrington in my book) and she's only gotten more and more comfortable with it.
Desiree is photogenic, a handsome woman who's clearly had some very good work done to enhance her loveliness, not that there's anything wrong with a little chopping and sanding. She's mad for clothes and wears many of the greats all the time. She can swing from Carolina Herrera to Calvin to Viktor and Rolf to Jil Sander and back to Oscar de la Rental. Now she can't be buying it because she's changing too often in a day. In the WSJ story there were 4-5 shots of her busy at her job and she managed to change clothes for each and every shot....jewelry too. So I infer that she's a bit of a product placement Pro. I have the uncomfortable feeling she's playing the favor game and getting racks of clothes in the bargain.
" Never a borrower or a lender be."
That is a rule that certainly applies to a person in that position. Desiree can't be bothered with rules. She makes them, she's too busy "BRANDING" the First Family to follow them. That's how she sees her job. I see it as a 2-way street. She arranges the public's access to the First Family, be it literal or virtual. State dinner invitations, events, national and international engagements that cast the magic of their Administration far and wide are all responsibilities that I would expect from her. With that job done you get the satisfaction of serving something greater than yourself and your own ambitions and not private lunches bi-weekly with Anna Wintour and spreads in Vogue for herself and her 18 year old daughter. Not going as a duet to fashion shows and constant mugging for every Instamatic within 100 feet. Not playing the quick change fashion show junkie wearing the clothes of the designer to his/her show like so many other dumb asses in the front rows of too many regrettable shows. You don't see Anna doing it. I forget how much a rookie Des is and then I'm reminded.
So with the appointment of Anna to the President's Arts Council I can't help but think Desiree is behind the scenes waving her twisted wand. Ms. Wintour is vaguely acquainted with the arts, literature, both Fine and Applied, but she's really about Sales and the neutering of a whole industry. What does that have to do with the National Council for the Arts? Why not Toni Morrison, Tabatha from Salon Makeover,Aretha Franklin, who generously serenaded their Inauguration,Aerin Lauder, and let's not forget Wendy Williams. They at least do something besides pose. Hell, I'm sure Oprah or Kathy Griffin are available.What has Sarah Jessica Parker done lately that qualifies her? Hair color and rancid perfume?
If Desiree spent more time behind her desk instead of standing front and center for the cameras, maybe she'd get more done. I don't want to see spreads on what sits on her desk: the Hermes notebooks, one large black one for work and a smaller orange one for personal, fresh flowers everyday, a Presidential stamp on her Styrofoam coffee cup, and on and on. How about a slightly less styled desk where real work happens. Thank god she has some focused assistants that keep her in the job. Someone has to be doing the heavy lifting, but it's not her. How could she when a huge chunk of her time is spent holed up in a suite at the St.Regis waiting for Anna to summon her to some glittering gathering. I could care less about our tax dollars being spent on the big guys doing their thing, but I don't like the idea that I'm paying for this silver -plated wannabe to play dress up. Is it so bad to be a secretary? There are so many out of work secretaries who are better qualified and dying for a chance to actually work for the Leader of the Free World and his Family.
My advice to her is put away those American Spirit cigarettes or whatever it is she's smoking, and pick up that pad and pen and start taking dictation. Good secretaries remind their bosses of commitments they've committed themselves to. She could remind the President that he promised to do something for the gigantic block of Gay voters who helped him get into office and the small businesses who were supposed to get a piece of the pie to help weather this shit storm. Those items keep getting put off for another day. Well with Fashion shows, photo-ops and fittings there just aren't enough hours in the day for Desiree Rogers to do everything.
Her mantra is:"A girl has to take time for herself".... and she does that with real zeal.
On the Street…Delancey St., New York
2 days ago