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Hullabaloo


Tuesday, January 05, 2010

 
Queen Of The Pride

by digby

On December 4th, I wrote this:


The fatuous gasbags were all atwitter yesterday that the White House is "stonewalling" to protect their "old Chicago pal" Desiree Rogers, the white house social secretary. As I said the other day, this is rapidly turning into a "travelgate" type Village scandal and someone is going to have to go down, preferably one who falls under the auspices of Michelle Obama, who has clearly made some kind of social error.

Just as Travelgate was about Hillary Clinton failing to respect the social pecking order by installing old Arkansas friends in a job in which the press had a personal stake, (Ryan's comments about "overshadowing" notwithstanding) I'm pretty sure this is about Michele and "her pal" somehow not respecting the pecking order and failing to understand just how sacrosanct are the invitation lists to the White House. (You'll recall that Michelle had a press avail the day of the state dinner and mentioned that she regretted not being able to invite everyone, which I thought was rather odd at the time.)

The lesson has long been clear. You do not mess with the Village tabbies. They have far more power than you might think.


Well guess what? The Queen Tabby made her move today:
Many in Washington wondered why the director of the Secret Service, Mark Sullivan, did not resign over the state dinner security breach. At least Sullivan testified before Congress on the subject. White House social secretary Desirée Rogers came under fire after the Salahi scandal erupted. From the start, Rogers was an unlikely choice for social secretary. She was not of Washington, considered by many too high-powered for the job and more interested in being a public figure (and thus upstaging the first lady) than in doing the gritty, behind-the-scenes work inherent in that position. That Rogers stayed and that the White House refused to allow her to testify before Congress reflected badly on the president. He, not a member of his staff, ended up looking incompetent. Although it has emerged that a State Department protocol error is to blame for the presence of a third uninvited guest, both Rogers and Sullivan should step down.

The administration's problem extends beyond these failings. When White House counsel Greg Craig was fired over disagreements about the timing and publicity of closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay, many Obama supporters were troubled. Craig was one of the most admired and trusted men in Washington. His firing was a turning point for a lot of people, who began to question the president's judgment.Whether or not the Craig decision was the president's idea, somebody else should have taken the hit for it... Emanuel, the most political animal in this town, also should understand that keeping Rogers on as social secretary reflects upon the president's judgment.




Obviously, the Obamas have made a Big Social Mistake somewhere along the line and it's time for those who really run things to assert themselves. She put it in terms of "protecting" the president, but if you read the whole thing, it's quite clear that it's actually a threat: unless they straighten up and understand who's really in charge, right quick, this could get ugly. Sally says heads must roll ... or else.

Let the games begin.


Update: A reader points out that only Sally Quinn would characterize the social secretary's job as "gritty, behind-the-scenes work." Yeah. But it is. Obviously, you have to spend all your time kowtowing and genuflecting to Sally and her fellow Villagers. Sounds pretty gritty to me.

Update: Tto those who are accusing me of lazily "patting myself on the back" and doing nothing to advance the story of the egregious Sally Quinn, I would just ask that you google this blog and her name and you will find approximately 51,789 posts about Sally Quinn. If there is anyone in the blogosphere who has written more about her pernicious influence on American politics, I don't know how it might be.

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