White House names replacement for Rogers

February 27, 2010 4:47:58 PM PST
The Obama administration named a new White House social secretary Saturday to replace the Chicagoan departing from that office.Juliana Smoot, who was chief of staff to U.S. trade representative Ron Kirk, takes over next month. That's when Desiree Rogers-- a longtime friend of the president and first lady-- will leave.

Rogers was criticized heavily after a couple crashed the president's first state dinner in November 2009.

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley defended Rogers Saturday while cutting the ribbon to open the Austin Family Health Center in Chicago.

"Stop blaming her for anybody walking in there because no one can stop anyone, with the exception of the Secret Service. Desiree's a great friend of mine. She did a tremendous job," Daley said.

The White House says Rogers was not forced out of her job or asked to leave.

The Obamas thanked her for her service.

Rogers, 50, says she resigned because she completed her job of turning the White House into the 'People's House.'