As White House aide Tommy Vietor leaves his post, he bids farewell to members of the media with parting note. He says he won’t miss writing notes to reporters that would make Gene Sperling blush. Dear reporter friends,
As you know, today is my last day at the White House (the first voluntary furlough). Leaving was not an easy decision, but after nine years working for then Senator and now President Obama, it was the right time. Working for this President has been the honor and privilege of a lifetime, and many of you have been there with me every step of the way. So I want to say thank you. No one knows better than us how hard you guys work, and how much you sacrifice to do your jobs. We also know how important your work is for the American people, for policymakers, and for our democracy.
This job has allowed me access to more information than I could ever imagine, and yet I still learn something new from you guys every day. That’s amazing, and it’s a testament to your hard work, and to the fact that many reporters do their jobs at great personal risk in dangerous places. I will forever appreciate the many phone conversations I had with Anthony Shadid before he died, and I’m positive I learned more from him than he ever did from me.
In the interest of full disclosure: I will not miss your calls after 10pm. I will not miss your calls before 6am. I will not miss 3am press charter call times. You will not miss me saying, “I don’t have anything for you on that” or some of the emails I’ve sent that would make Gene Sperling blush.
I will miss Bill Plante being our sommelier (let’s just admit that he’s the coolest man alive). I will miss the press charter home from foreign trips and up to 10 straight hours without email access. And I will miss you guys, the work you do, the debates, and how you push us to be better.
I hope that we will stay in touch. I will be in DC for the foreseeable future, so feel free to email me at BLANKif you need anything.
For NSS press issues, your primary point of contact is going to be Caitlin Hayden, whom many of you know well from her years at the White House, in Kabul and at the State Department. You can reach her at BLANK. She is exceptionally good at what she does and you will love her if you don’t already, so be nice.
Thank you again for everything.