A Dunn Deal

By Lindsey Ellerson

Apr 30, 2009 6:25pm

Former Obama for America campaign adviser Anita Dunn will on Monday become the new White House director of communications, replacing Ellen Moran.

Dunn was originally President Obama’s first pick to be communications director. She turned down the job to spend more time with her family, but after Moran announced she was leaving to become the chief of staff to Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, the President asked Dunn to re-consider her original rejection of the job offer.

"It’s hard to say no to the president," a White House official says.

Those who worked on the campaign are especially excited that Dunn will join their ranks, not only because they consider her nice and smart but because during the presidential race she would bring snacks — "a lot of candy, a lot of movie candy," one official recalled, slobbering, "Starburst, Good & Plenty, Whoppers, a lot of Rolos."

Dunn, a partner with Squier Knapp Dunn Communications, is a fixture in DC Democratic circles. She and her husband Robert Bauer, President Obama’s campaign and personal attorney, were recently profiled as a Washington Power Couple in Newsweek.

She was communications director and chief strategist for the 2000 presidential campaign of former Sen. Bill Bradley, D-NJ, having started her career in President Jimmy Carter’s White House as intern for chief of staff Hamilton Jordan. In 2006, she became a senior consultant for then-Sen. Barack Obama’s political action committee HOPEFUND.

Dunn is also part of the "Daschle crew" — advisers and aides to former Senate Majority Leader (and erstwhile Department of Health and Human Services Secretary nominee) Tom Daschle, many of whom are already scattered throughout the Obama White House, including senior adviser Pete Rouse and Dunn’s new deputy, Dan Pfeiffer.

- jpt

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