White House Social Aides

December 16, 2008

C-SPAN is showing White House Week (14-20 Dec). Tonight there is an interview with Alan Merten, a former White House Military Social Aide during the Johnson Administration (’65-’66).

It’s quite interesting.

Definition from White House Web site (Dec 2008):

“White House Military Social Aides serve as an extension of the President and Mrs. Bush in their roles as official host and hostess of the United States. They help to ensure guests have an enjoyable experience at the White House by assisting with introductions to the President and Mrs. Bush during receiving lines, the guests’ seating, and the overall flow of events. The program averages 40 Social Aides from all five military services.”

Tom McGinnis (father), Romayne McGinnis (mother), Bush, and a military aide holding the medal.

President Obama and Michelle Obama enter the East Room as White House Social Aides form a cordon.

Here are a few articles about White House Social Aides. HereHere and Here.  Photos here and here.

And one former aide wrote a book about his experiences.

Incoming White House Social Secretary

November 24, 2008

In the news today…Ms. Desiree Rogers was announced as Special Assistant to the President and White House Social Secretary.  The Social Secretary position is a big deal because she will be at the table when all invites are made for social events for the President and First Lady.

Desiree Rogers

Desiree Rogers

Additionally, she and her small staff are responsible for the efficient execution of all social events and ceremonies at the White House.  This is arguably the most premier protocol position in government.  Ms. Rogers will deal with dignitaries of all types (Heads of state, elected officials, celebrities, military, children–Easter Egg Roll & T-Ball game) and other honorees and visitors to the “people’s house.”

(L-R) Desiree Rogers, Valerie Jarrett, Future Senior Policy Advisor; and Ebony/Jet mogul Linda Johnson-Rice

(L-R) Desiree Rogers, Valerie Jarrett, Future Senior Policy Advisor; and Ebony/Jet mogul Linda Johnson-Rice

Congrats to Ms. Rogers.  Her job will be super tough with all the people bucking to get into the White House during the future Obama administration.  More on the announcement here, here, and Black Socialite blog here.

I think it’s also neat that her last position was as President of Social Networking for Allstate Financial.

I look forward to working with Ms. Johnson in the White House as a Military Social Aide.

UPDATE:  More background from her days in New Orleans.