The smell of intrigue is lingering in the air at the White House.
But the mystery is not over Israeli spying allegations, or Hillary Clinton dropping by for a presidential meeting. Instead, the rumour mill is reportedly going into overdrive over what happened to the presidential florist.
The Washington Post reported Monday night that Laura Dowling, who was the White House’s head florist since 2009, suddenly left her position. And no one seems to know why.
One source told The Post that Dowling “was escorted from the building” on Friday, February 13 — the day before Valentine’s Day.
The paper noted the White House is fond of issuing formal goodbyes when its veteran staffers leave. When chief pastry chef left last year, President Barack Obama hailed him as a “crust master.” When chef Sam Kass left last December, Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama issued separate statements praising him for leaving an “indelible mark on the White House” and “an extraordinary legacy of progress.”
“But the recent exit of head florist Laura Dowling … has been a much quieter affair. So hush hush, in fact, that most outside of 1600 Penn knew nothing about it. There’s still no official comment on why Dowling is no longer at the White House,” The Post’s Helena Andrews wrote.
Andrews initially only got a brief comment from the White House confirming Dowling’s departure. Later, Andrews received an unattributed, longer statement that still did did not explain why the head florist left. When the Post reached out to Dowling’s floral design shop, the florist — somewhat strangely — issued her own statement vaguely saying she “resigned in order to pursue exciting new opportunities and explore my passion for floral artistry and design.”
One possibility, according to The Post, is that Dowling somehow got on the bad sign of Michelle Obama.
“This absolutely comes from the top,” said Kate Andersen Brower, author of the book, “The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House.” “The first lady has the final say.”
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