From Politico's Laura Rozen:
Clinton communications aides DAS Philippe Reines, Caroline Adler, Ashley Yehl, Ellen Connell, Dan Schwerin, David Helfenbein and Nick Merrill put out a spread of punch, cupcakes, Doritos and M-n-Ms, and invited State staff and press to a Friday afternoon "suite warming" at their den down the hall from the Foggy Bottom press bullpen.
Among the State staff who came by and sampled Adler's homemade quiche, deputy director of the Policy Planning shop Derek Chollet, ambassador nominee to the OSCE and former spokesman Ian Kelly, USUN's Meredith Webster, Undersecretary of State for Management Pat Kennedy, Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner, and several of the foreign policy press.
The seven room suite for the "strategic communications team" (or in State Department acronymese "SCT") features Obama's photo hung above Clinton's official photo, aides pointed out -- notable perhaps because several of the team -- Reines, Adler, Merrill -- were former Clinton campaign aides. (This correspondent didn't see Biden's official photo, but maybe just missed it. The veep apparently took some time finding an official photo he was happy with.)
The cozy vibe -- homemade goodies, landscapes on loan from State's Art Bank, Ikea couches -- contrasted with a recently leaked IG report that said morale was low in the public affairs bureau. Also boosting morale, much of the team gets to escape endless D.C. winter on a trip with Clinton and Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemispheric Affairs Arturo Venezuela next week to Brazil.
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