Melody Barnes, the White House domestic policy adviser, took her colleagues (and everyone else) by surprise on Thursday when she announced she would be leaving her post at the end of the year. Barnes indicated she needed to reduce her workload, saying in a statement she had "reached the conclusion that I need to move out of a 24/7 work schedule and on to the next phase of my life," according to Politico. Reporter Mike Allen wrote that, "Her departure -- another West Wing loss of a popular woman ahead of a brutal reelection campaign -- took colleagues by surprise." Earlier this month, Meridith Webster, who had served as senior adviser to chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and to his interim replacement, Pete Rouse, left the White House to take a job with Bloomberg L.P.