(The Washington Post, October 8, 2007) (WASHINGTON POST)
POLITICO: The promotion of Julianna Smoot to White House Social Secretary is good news for wealthy donors to President Obama's campaign, for whom Smoot -- the chief campaign fundraiser -- is friend and point of contact.
Smoot, who had been working in the relative obscurity of the U.S. Trade Representative's office, will now be the key gatekeeper to the kind of social functions from which donors have complained that this administration, unlike President Clinton's, has barred them.
But the choice to unite money and access in the person of Smoot -- a career political fundraiser whose efforts were downplayed by a campaign eager to focus on small donors -- cuts against both President Obama's broader message of change and against the talking points of her departing predecessor, Desiree Rogers.
Rogers told Lynn Sweet that she saw her role as turning the White House into the "people's house," and Michelle Obama praised her in a statement for "welcoming scores of everyday Americans through its doors, from wounded warriors to local schoolchildren to NASCAR drivers."
Smoot may have the same goal, but her credentials and relationships point in the opposite direction: To ensuring access and satisfaction for the ultra-wealthy elite who will, incidentally, be called on to finance President Obama's next campaign. (SOURCE POLITICO)