Building 'Brand Obama' Falls to Ex-Mardi Gras Queen

White House social secretary brings marketing savvy to the role
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2009 3:14 AM CDT
White House social secretary Desiree Rogers attends a dinner hosted by President Obama, Feb. 22, 2009.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The White House is the jewel in the crown of the Obama brand and it’s her job to promote it, White House social secretary Desirée Rogers tells Amy Chozick of the Wall Street Journal. Rogers has taken the event-organizing role to a new level, Chozick writes, and unlike her predecessors, has made herself a powerful presence in the West Wing as well as the East.

In crafting the First Family’s image, the New Orleans native and former Mardi Gras queen uses buzzwords from her background as a marketing executive like “strategic plan.” Amid a constant stream of parties, concerts, and photo-ops, her job has to be treated “almost like a business,” Rogers says. “Otherwise, you never get there. You get caught in linen hell and flower hell, list hell.”