WASHINGTON–Former White House Social Secretary Julianna Smoot–now a top deputy on the Obama 2012 campaign–hosted a welcome lunch on Friday for her successor, Jeremy Bernard.
Everybody is excited about meeting Bernard, I hear.
The lunch, at the Jefferson Hotel, was the same locale where almost a year ago former White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers hosted a similar gathering for Smoot, her successor. Read my report about that 2010 session here.
Former White House Social Secretaries–whether working for a Democratic or GOP administration- share a camaraderie from holding a unique position. The White House Social Office is really an events management operation, handling everything from bill signings to parties.
Until the appointment of Bernard, the first man in the job, the group had been exclusively female.
Hosting a lunch for the new Social Secretary is a tradition started in the 1990s by former Clinton White House Social Secretary Ann Stock.
The lunch took place the week Bernard oversaw the giant White House Easter Egg Roll and before he runs his first state dinner in June.
The former Social Secretaries at the Smoot lunch:
Capricia Marshall, from the Clinton White House and now the Chief of Protocol at the Department of State; Amy Zantzinger, who served under President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush; Lea Berman and Cathy Fenton, who also came out of the George W. Bush White House; Gahl Burt, from the Reagan administration; Bess Abell, from the Johnson White House and Maria Downs, from the Ford White House who is a Chicago native.
Rogers could not make the lunch; this is her daughter’s birthday weekend.