Burton Steps Down From WH Deputy Press Sec Post

White House deputy press secretary Bill Burton is leaving along with WH political advisor Sean Sweeney to start their own political and strategic consulting firm.

Burton had been on the list of candidates to replace press secretary Robert Gibbs. The job eventually went to Jay Carney, who held his first press conference today. (More on that in a post to come.)

Sweeney was the chief of staff to former WH chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. Both will leave the White House on Friday. Politico reports that both will play a role in the 2012 election cycle.

Burton’s departure e-mail after the jump.

Friends – I wanted to let you know that I’m going to be leaving the White House on Friday.

Four years ago this week, I stood with many of you in Springfield as then-Senator Barack Obama announced an improbable campaign for President on an unbelievably cold day.  And then I stood with a lot more of you on an unseasonably warm night in Chicago as the next First Family strode onto stage in Grant Park.  There was another cold day in Washington — when all the rest of you hangers-on showed up — and that Senator became President.  And all those days since, we worked together to make the change he promised a reality in the lives of countless Americans.

And while I have felt a real fulfillment in this position — from the walls of this building to the shores of Honolulu — painting the new baby’s room this past weekend gave me clarity about a house I might want to spend a little more time in.

So on to the next chapter in my professional career.

I am going to partner with Sean Sweeney to start a firm focused on political and strategic consulting.  We will have a more specific announcement in coming weeks once we figure out things like name, location and where one buys those comfy ergonomic office chairs.

I’m really looking forward to partnering with Sean – a great guy and one of the most highly competent professionals in politics.  Sean has served as an advisor here in the White House to Rahm Emanuel and Pete Rouse, working closely with the legislative and political affairs offices. Before that, he was Rahm’s staff director in the Capitol and political director at the DCCC (during the 06 cycle when I was communications director there). Before that, he worked as a political advisor for Senator Chuck Schumer and Secretary Hillary Clinton’s Senate campaigns.  And now we enter into an exciting new phase of our lives.

I will never forget the hardworking and decent people I worked with here — and I am so thankful for the opportunity to have been a part of it.

Please keep in touch.