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

Schumer’s ‘cave’? Shutdown deal puts spotlight on Dem leader
Schumer’s ‘cave’? Shutdown deal puts spotlight on Dem leader

Republicans tried to make Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer the face of the government shutdown. Now, he’s becoming the face of the Democratic retreat. For two days, Schumer, perhaps the most powerful Democrat in Washington, succeeded in keeping his party unified in a bid to use the government funding fight to push for protections for some...
Ohio inmate wants to be killed by firing squad
Ohio inmate wants to be killed by firing squad

Attorneys for a condemned killer whose execution was stopped last year after 25 minutes of unsuccessful needle sticks are once again recommending the firing squad as an alternative. The execution could also proceed if the state adopts a closely regulated lethal injection process that includes a headpiece to monitor the brain activity of death row inmate...
‘Defiance Disorder’: Another new book describes chaos in Trump’s White House
‘Defiance Disorder’: Another new book describes chaos in Trump’s White House

In late July, the White House had just finished an official policy review on transgender individuals serving in the military and President Donald Trump and his then-chief of staff, Reince Priebus, had agreed to meet in the Oval Office to discuss the four options awaiting the president in a decision memo.  But then Trump unexpectedly preempted...
House, Senate vote to end shutdown; now up to President Trump
House, Senate vote to end shutdown; now up to President Trump

A Senate standoff that partially shuttered the federal government for nearly three days ended Monday when Senate Democrats agreed to support a bill to re-open the federal government through Feb. 8. Sen. Sherrod Brown joined 31 Democrats and independent Angus King of Maine in backing the spending bill, which they did under the condition that the GOP...
Why other countries don’t have government shutdowns
Why other countries don’t have government shutdowns

Hundreds of thousands of workers are expected to stay home this week, after the Senate was unable to reach a deal Sunday night to end the government shutdown which began three days ago. This may not be the first time in recent history that funding for government operations and agencies was interrupted — since 1976, there have been 19 shutdowns...
More Stories