White House Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton left his post last month with the intention of launching a strategic political consulting group. He will be joined by Sean Sweeney, a fellow White House staffer who has served as an aide to White House chiefs of staff Rahm Emanuel and Pete Rouse.
Burton has worked for Obama since he launched his presidential campaign in 2007. Before that, he served as communications director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 2006 and as a spokesman for Rep. Dick Gephardt and Sen. John Kerry during the 2004 presidential cycle.
In a statement announcing his departure from the White House, Burton expressed his thanks for the opportunity to serve in the Obama Administration and stressed his desire to spend more time at home as he and his wife, Laura Capps, a former aide to Sen. Kerry, are expecting their first child.
Burton was passed over in the competition to replace outgoing White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs and announced his departure hours after the debut of Gibbs’s replacement, Jay Carney, a former journalist and chief spokesman for Vice President Joe Biden.
Burton’s new partner, Sweeney, is a former political director for the DCCC and served as then-Rep. Emanuel’s staff director. Sweeney started his career in 1998 as a political advisor on Sen. Charles Schumer’s first senatorial campaign and went on to fill the same role on Hillary Clinton’s 2000 senatorial run.
Burton and Sweeney have announced few details about their new firm, though they have stated that it will be based in Washington, D.C., and will not engage in lobbying. “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,” Burton said in his statement.