WASHINGTON -- Bill Burton, a Buffalo native who served as deputy White House press secretary for the past two years, said today that he is stepping down to start a political consulting firm with another departing Obama administration aide.
Obama recently passed over Burton in favor of Jay Carney, Vice President Biden's spokesman, in choosing a successor to departing White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.
But in an email, Burton -- who has worked for Obama since the first day of his presidential campaign four years ago and traveled frequently with him to Hawaii and other places -- said the decision to leave the White House was a personal one.
"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," Burton said. "So on to the next chapter in my professional career."
Burton said he and Obama political aide Sean Sweeney will be starting a firm focused on political and strategic consulting. Sweeney, a former political aide to Sens. Charles E. Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, most recently served as an aide to White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and interim chief of staff Pete Rouse.
Burton, 33, said he will be leaving the White House on Friday and will be providing more details about the firm he is forming with Sweeney in the coming weeks.
Before joining Obama, Burton served as spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the 2004 presidential campaigns of former Rep. Richard Gephardt, D-Mo., and Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.
He is a graduate of City Honors School and the University of Minnesota.