Seth Kahan
Author, consultant

Seth Kahan

Change expert and author who has advised executives in 50-plus organizations, including Shell, World Bank, Peace Corps and NASA. He can be reached at


Politics as usual

Q: Was Desiree Rogers too interested in the spotlight to be successful as White House social secretary? Do some jobs require more discretion and less acclaim? Will Julianna Smoot be more suitable for the job -- or just less flashy in it?

Washington has its own rules, micro-climates, and currents. They all play havoc with well-intentioned, professionally capable personnel -- especially in the White House. Rogers is a professional, as is Smoot.

The party-crashing incident is taking its toll and Rogers is going out with the bathwater. It's no wonder she is righteously reacting to accusations. Is it a lack of grace or frustration with the irrational eddies that pull political appointees back and forth in their confusing swells? It's hard to tell.

Fact is, we have yet to hear a compelling scenario that lays out how the Secret Service failed the event. Their job is to make sure the president is safe regardless of the behavior of anyone on staff. Rogers' policies and the actions of her staff are no excuse, whether rightly or wrongly implemented.

Smoot will be great. Let's just hope the fates are kinder to her.

By Seth Kahan  |  March 8, 2010; 12:01 AM ET  | Category:  Success from the sidelines Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Silent power | Next: Focus, focus, focus

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company