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Gay Man to Replace Social Secretary?

Gay Man to Replace Social Secretary?


Two women have occupied and stepped down from the position of White House Social Secretary since 2009. Now, the New York Times asks whether it's time for a man -- and suggests at least two gay men for the job.

Desiree Rogers, a close friend of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, left the job after about a year to become the CEO of Johnson Publishing. Her exit closely followed the Obama administration's first state dinner, an event famously crashed by reality television personalities Tareq and Michaele Salahi. And now, Rogers' successor Julianna Smoot, a Democratic fund-raiser, will step down after 10 months in order to work on Obama's reelection campaign. Since the Theodore Roosevelt administration, when the social secretary position was officially established, only women have fulfilled this role.

At least two of the names being floated around, when considering only male replacements, include openly gay Deputy Social Secretary Ebs Burnough and Carlos Elizondo, who is currently serving as the social secretary for Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden. Burnough, who was in the most recent Out 100, served as Michelle Obama's political director during the election campaign, and was executive director of Rep. Jerry Nadler's political action committee. Prior to working with the Bidens, Elizondo was the senior director of presidential events at Georgetown University.

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