Obama's social secretary throws a party for Trump's


  If there's one thing this town loves it's a good dinner party. Everyone from the first lady to Supreme Court justices spend considerable amounts of time off the clock poring over wine options and seating charts. So who better to throw a swanky welcome to Washington party than a former White House social secretary?  

On Tuesday night, Deesha Dyer, the Obama administration's last social secretary, threw an intimate affair for President Donald Trump's newly minted social secretary, Anna Cristina Niceta Lloyd. (She goes by "Rickie.") It's a tradition that social secretaries of the past have upheld for decades regardless of political affiliation. The last keeper of all the details toasts the next woman (or man) to fill her sensible shoes while wielding the run of show for every public event held at the White House.  

Dyer managed to corral an impressive list of social secretaries past at Central Michel Richard, the chic downtown restaurant just blocks from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., on Tuesday night. On hand to pass along their hard-won wisdom were President Lyndon Johnson's social secretary Bess Abell; President Richard Nixon's social secretary Lucy Winchester Breathitt; President Ronald Reagan's social secretary Gahl Burt; President George W. Bush's social secretaries Lea Berman and Catherine Fenton; President Bill Clinton's social secretaries Ann Stock and Capricia Marshall; and President Barack Obama's social secretaries Desiree Rogers, Julianna Smoot and Jeremy Bernard.  

The evening's biggest get had to be Rogers, who has rarely made cameos in D.C. since her embarrassing ouster as social secretary in 2010. Rogers, currently chief executive of Johnson Publishing Company, was at the helm during the infamous "gate crasher" fiasco during the State Dinner in honor of the Indian prime minister. Two uninvited cast members of "The Real Housewives of D.C." got past security and shook the president's hand. A congressional hearing happened, and shortly after Rogers skipped town for Chicago.  

According to our tipster, the Social Secretaries Club is pretty tight. There were lots of hugs and selfies going around the table at the two-hour dinner during which Central's famous fried chicken played a starring role. None of the other guests in the dining room recognized the big names chatting mere tables away, but that's the point, isn't it? Social secretaries, despite their high-profile, high-stakes gig, are background players.  

Dyer began the dinner with a toast to Lloyd, a veteran event planner and catering company executive whose first big test in her fancy new job will be the White House's annual Easter Egg Roll next week. (Thus far signs are pointed to a slow start.) Our spy couldn't hear Dyer's speech but we assume the former social secretary, whose own path to the East Wing was a bit windy (she started as a 31-year-old intern), may have offered up the same advice she was given at one of her own celebration dinners: "You make your own luck."


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Politics

Trump poses a 2018 puzzle for Republican governors
Trump poses a 2018 puzzle for Republican governors

For nearly a decade, meetings of the Republican Governors Association were buoyant, even giddy affairs, as the party — lifted by enormous political donations and a backlash against the Obama administration — achieved overwhelming control of state governments.  But a sense of foreboding hung over the group’s gathering in Austin...
How Congress plays by different rules on sexual harassment and misconduct
How Congress plays by different rules on sexual harassment and misconduct

Briony Whitehouse was a 19-year-old intern in 2003 when she boarded an elevator in the Russell Senate Office Building with a Republican senator who, she said, groped her until the doors reopened.  She never reported the incident to her bosses for fear of jeopardizing her career. But she recently tweeted about her experience on Twitter as part...
White House aides divided over scope, risks of Russia probe
White House aides divided over scope, risks of Russia probe

Six months into a special counsel's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, White House aides and others in President Donald Trump's close orbit are increasingly divided in their assessments of the expanding probe and how worried administration officials and campaign aides should be about their potential legal peril...
Former Franken female staffers speak out: ‘He treated us with the utmost respect’
Former Franken female staffers speak out: ‘He treated us with the utmost respect’

Some former female staffers of Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., spoke out on Friday in his defense, saying that he had treated women with respect while they worked in his office.  The statement came on the same day that Leeann Tweeden, the Los Angeles radio news anchor who accused Franken of kissing and groping her against her will, said that she had...
As clock ticks on tax bill, White House signals a compromise
As clock ticks on tax bill, White House signals a compromise

President Donald Trump's budget director said Sunday that the White House is willing to remove a contentious provision taking aim at the Affordable Care Act from the Republican tax overhaul plan if politically necessary, a move that would fundamentally reshape the effort in the Senate.  In a television interview, Office of Management and Budget...
More Stories