Stylish, cooly calculating Desiree Rogers chaffed with frumpy, Obama-adoring Axelrod, and so her fate was sealed.
So begins a piece on the former social secretary's problems in the New York Times today, which argues Rogers troubles began long before Michaele and Tariq Salahi crashed a state dinner.
Axelrod, apparently, was not a fan of her methods. He scolded her early in her tenure because she gave an interview to The Wall Street Journal in which she spoke about the president as a product.
“We have the best brand on Earth: the Obama brand,” Rogers told the Journal. ‘Our possibilities are endless.”
But Axelrod, calling her into his office, retorted: “The president is a person, not a product. We shouldn’t be referring to him as a brand.”
Axelrod's stance makes sense -- especially in light of a much-read article on the senior advisor published in the Times last Sunday, in which Axelrod was quoted as saying "I guess I have been castigated for believing too deeply in the president."
And: "I love the guy."
But Rogers problems went beyond stylistic and emotional differences with Axelrod.
According to the Times, Rogers was seen as a liability for the White House because she didn’t understand her role.
She described Obama as a product and at a time of great economic strife, and she consistently wore expensive outfits and attended splashy events – most notably, fashion week in the company of Vanity Fair editor Anna Wintour.
What’s left out of the narrative of her White House stint, supporters say, is that she did a fantastic job.
She managed to pull off more than 330 events in her 13 months as secretary and she introduced some innovation to Pennsylvania avenue by organizing poetry slams and luau’s, which aren’t exactly traditional fare.
“If you look at the totality of her time here,” fellow Chicagoan Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, told the paper. “She did a good job of projecting a White House that was open, family friendly and classy.”