The White House may be a little less green than usual. In what appears to be a rather hush-hush staffing change, officials say head florist Laura Dowling has left her post and was escorted from the residence on Feb. 13. In a statement released through lawyers, Dowling says, "I have resigned in order to pursue exciting new opportunities," but the Washington Post says rumors are flying and a call to the White House revealed her post has not been filled. The paper adds it's out of character for the Obamas not to have mentioned Dowling's absence publicly; the first lady praised chef Sam Kass when he left his post in December. "Ms. Dowling's creations were always lively and colorful," the first lady's office said in response to the Post's inquiries. "We are grateful for her contribution over the years and wish her well."
Dowling adds it was "such an honor to work at the White House and I will always be grateful for this incredible opportunity." A former residence staffer, however, says Dowling's departure "surprised a lot of people" and staffers were dissuaded from "trying to come up with their own conclusions." The source mysteriously adds, "I'm not sure what the reason is" for Dowling's exit, "but I can think of a few." A source tells Politico Playbook that Dowling "was something of a one-trick pony who worked very slowly in a high-volume environment. And she lacked management skills, so lots of drama." But officially, no details have been released. (This celeb badly wants a White House invite.)