Nightly News   |  February 26, 2010

Party's over for Desiree Rogers

White House social secretary Desiree Rogers said Friday she will be leaving her job to return to the private sector. NBC's Savannah Guthrie reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> nbc news, new york.

>> we learned today a high-profile member of president obama 's staff is leaving her job. white house social secretary desiree rogers came under fire after that party-crashing couple walked into the president's first-ever state dinner . white house correspondent savannah guthrie with more on this.

>> reporter: in a statement the president and first lady said desiree rogers had done a terrific job. he was part of a band of high-profile chicagoans who came with the obamas to the white house and is the first one to leave. 14 months after making a glamorous entrance in washington, white house social secretary desiree rogers is exiting.

>> desiree came to the president and first lady to give them her decision in wanting to go back.

>> reporter: a long-time personal friend of the obamas from chicago, rogers was an accomplished businesswoman and harvard mba when tapped to run the white house social office. famously telling the " wall street journal ," we have the best brand on earth, the obama brand. our possibilities are endless.

>> these jobs are very demanding and they're very tiring. i think no one could put a time limit on when's enough time for anyone to serve at the white house .

>> reporter: organizing more than 300 events, including an awards ceremony just yesterday at the white house , rogers kept a high profile, posing for "vogue" soon after arriving. attending new york fashion week. the lavish indian state dinner she organized was poised to be her greatest success story until --

>> mr. and mrs. salahie.

>> reporter: the uninvited guests accidentally admitted by the secret service exposed gaps in the social office procedure. the secret service testifying none of the staff were at the check points that night.

>> if somebody from the social secretary's office was standing where they always stood in the past, the salahis would not have gotten in.

>> reporter: some society pages called for her resignation, noting she attended the dinner as a guest.

>> she had come to washington with her sleeves rolled up, but not anticipating the rough treatment top level figures in the white house get.

>> reporter: we are told the leading contender to replace rogers is juliana smooch, the former finance director and is chief of staff to the u.s. trade representative .

>> savannah guthrie from the white house briefing room tonight. thanks.

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