INSIDE 1600

Manufacturing the Obama Brand

Barack and Michelle Obama emanate an air of friendly nonchalance as they charm reporters, throw parties, and walk Bo. It’s not as straight-forward as it looks. There’s a woman behind the scenes, curating it all. In a new profile in WSJ. Magazine, White House social secretary Desirée Rogers reveals her strategy for managing the public face of the most overexposed first family in history. Rogers has a Harvard MBA and a corporate background, so she approaches the Obama White House as if she’s building and strategically marketing the Obama brand. She wants the Obamas to be the most memorable and popular family ever to live at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and is working to reinstate the environment that the White House is a “people’s house,” where ordinary Americans might feel welcome. Writes WSJ.: “They want to create an environment where average Americans might stop by and catch the first lady serving homemade huckleberry cobbler and caramel ice cream to students, tending to the vegetable garden on the South Lawn or watching the romantic comedy He’s Just Not That Into You with her girlfriends.”