November 12th, 2008
11:23 AM ET
5 years ago

Help wanted at the Obama White House

WASHINGTON (CNN) – An epidemic of layoffs is plaguing the country, but the Help Wanted sign is out in Washington: President-elect Obama's new administration needs to fill 7,996 positions according to the Plum Book, the quadrennial list of jobs filled by presidential appointment.

The Plum Book also lists the pay schedules for each presidential appointment. According to the book, a member of Obama's cabinet can make as much as $191,300.

But there are numerous positions whose salaries are not listed in the Plum Book, such as the president's chief of staff and press secretary, where the pay is at the administration's discretion, and can be much higher.

No administration official or presidential appointee can make more the president, who currently earns $400,000 a year.

The "Plum Book" - the name comes from the color of its cover - is published every four years immediately following the presidential election. The book was first released in 1952, when - after 22 years of a Democratically-controlled White House - Republican President Dwight Eisenhower's administration needed to identify what government jobs they could fill. The Plum Book was again produced in 1960 for the Kennedy administration, and has been published every four years since.


Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (175 Responses)
  1. Sen. McCain

    Thanks Joe.

    November 12, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  2. Joe Banana

    Oh, all you libs with thin skin. It was okay to call Palin a pig with lipstick. McCain was called McBush, but the minute Obama gets a little mud slung his way you all start whining. Grow a set and stop crying. As long as there are politics there is going to be mud slung from both sides. You guys bagged on Bush for 8 years and now I can do the same to Obama for the next 4 only!

    November 12, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  3. Not So Delusional

    Oh sweetie. you're so silly. It's women who put Obama in the White House. Are you kidding me? If my average, typical white wife had a chance, she'd leave me for Obama in a second.

    Didn't I see you screaming for PUMAs to unite back in June. Have you still not gotten over Hillary not being elected. Don't worry, i'm sure when she gets a chance to take over for Pelosi, Obama will be right there to make sure he does his part to get it done.

    Come on, Darling. Get over it already.

    November 12, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  4. arc, Lugano CH

    Sweetie November 12th, 2008 12:55 pm ET
    However I'm an Independent "Typical White Women" that Obama has already dismissed by calling me "Sweetie"!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    That's Pretty Weak.

    Then again, most likely you're just Typical Poor White Trash.

    November 12, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  5. Jason G

    I am disgusted at all of these bitter comments. America isn't going to go ANYWHERE if people will not be open and supportive. Are people really that upset over president-elect Obama hiring workers? I'm truly sick of this division.

    May I add, most caused by fear that Obama is a communist, socialist, marxist, etc. by McCain and campaign... The ignorance and hypocrisy kills me. I thought you guys were supposed to be "Moral Conservatives." Posting bitter racist hateful comments isn't very morally concervative.

    November 12, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  6. Southern Girl in NYC

    Maggie in SC it is 2008. Could you explain to me who the "Afro Americans" are? Are they from the country of Afro? Which is a sub-country of the greater "country" of Africa? Or descendants of the tribe of Afro?

    Please people, lets move forward.

    November 12, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  7. mit Obama

    observer
    November 12th, 2008 1:56 pm ET

    He is creating jobs….
    ______________________________________________________

    i believe those jobs were there to begin with, the white house is just switching out. dont be so gullible, that goes with all you nobamabots

    November 12, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  8. Brian from Fort Mill, SC

    No Hillary = No Obama November 12th, 2008 1:17 pm ET

    Can I work from home?
    --------------------
    Yes, but you still need to drive to D.C. to pick up your paycheck!

    November 12, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  9. Not So Delusional

    Brian from Fort Mill, SC:

    Brian, i agree with you. however, it's not the Presidnet's fault. It's the fault of Congress (who's salaries are also tied in there as well). SOOO... If you want him to make less than you have to change the law. Write your congressman or Senator. They control his salary.

    November 12, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  10. roy

    Funny, a President-elect FINALLY opens up these kinds of decisions and discussions to the general public.....and half of the comments here are from the nay-sayers that will do ANYTHING to sabotage any progress this country might make the next four years!
    So sorry some of you seem to live in a partisan-ONLY world where if things don't go 'your' way you sit and whine about it and do anything to denigrate it.......or is that the Republican way these days???

    Since this country is divided 54% to 46% NO ONE solution will work without US ALL getting on board and at least giving it a try....you cannot blame the winners if you do not play the game.

    November 12, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  11. Joe the Boxer

    These stories are strange. The media never wrote any stories about pay scales for White House staff when George Bush or any other Conservative became President. Yet, we now see stories with pay scales mentioned for White House staff. Is this the media's attempt to try and make the Democratic Administration appear like liberal big spenders? Because, if so, it's unwarranted. These pay scales have remained in place for staffers regardless of Presidential Administration party.

    November 12, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  12. Brian from Fort Mill, SC

    Purple Nurple November 12th, 2008 1:07 pm ET

    Obama will be no different. He will hire the same people who have recked haovc in this country.
    -------------------–
    That's not true. He just gave Bush and Cheney their pink slips!

    November 12, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  13. Brian from Fort Mill, SC

    wait a minute November 12th, 2008 2:35 pm ET

    I hope the Obama administration can hire the best qualified candidate for each position regardless of party affiliation, gender, religion, and race.
    -----------------
    Why not? Isn't that what the voters just did???

    November 12, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  14. Proud of the New America

    Joe Banana,

    When Obama used the lipstick on a pig anecdote (which has been around for decades) he never mentioned Palin and was conveying that you can make the McCain ticket look nice but its still the same failed policies as before the "lipstick" was added.

    People called McCain McBush b/c he practically mirrored Bush's policies.

    So, please explain to us what the correlation between President-Elect Obama and a monkey? I'd like to hear this one.

    November 12, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  15. Concerned for our Country

    Joe Banana –
    When you start calling people monkeys, how does that relate to politics. Are you adult enough to stick with the issues? I think not!
    As far as bagging on Obama for the next 4 years, if you don't like him, go move to another country.

    November 12, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  16. 3strikes

    joe banana
    November 12th, 2008 2:35 pm ET
    Oh, all you libs with thin skin. It was okay to call Palin a pig with lipstick. McCain was called McBush, but the minute Obama gets a little mud slung his way you all start whining. Grow a set and stop crying. As long as there are politics there is going to be mud slung from both sides. You guys bagged on Bush for 8 years and now I can do the same to Obama for the next 4 only!
    ______________________________________________________

    right on

    November 12, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  17. langard

    The chickens have been home, roosting, for the last 50/Yrs. We should have been developing plans for universal health care, instead of hating each other, especially in the red-state, slave mentality. This red-state mentality has spread throughout our nation, to the point where the US has become a red-nation mentality-a laughing stock among our former friends, world-wide.
    Health-care-less, has killed our economy. Each time we buy something, or pay a tax, we are paying for others' health care, especially with car health insurance. GM: $1600/per car...plus all the other health care embedded within all GM vendor parts, which also contain health care earmarks. This has been wrecking the American car business for years.
    The only solution? Universal health care...NOW rather than later.
    Don Lanquist
    Pascagoula, MS

    November 12, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  18. Noah

    apparently they are looking for someone with experience who can run the office of the President, because Barack has none!

    November 12, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  19. Mike, Syracuse NY

    The 7996 positions that will be filled will first be vacated by the current appointees from the Bush administration. Net effect on unemployment is zero. 7996 people out, 7996 people in. Duh!

    Joe, well said. McCain deserves more respect than he's gotten.

    Maggie, sorry to burst your bubble, but you are dead wrong. Obama signed a questionaire in which he pledged to use public financing if his opponent did. You can see the pledge if you google it. He lied pure and simple. Get used to it, there's more broken promises coming. 527's were not even mentioned in the pledge and both sides benefitted from them. Have you forgotten MoveOn?

    November 12, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  20. Tom G

    I sure hope President elect Obama offers me a job. I have a keen eye for picking the best out of a President. I have'nt elected a bad president yet.

    November 12, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  21. Thomas

    Not So Delusional November 12th, 2008 2:37 pm ET

    "Didn't I see you screaming for PUMAs to unite back in June. Have you still not gotten over Hillary not being elected. Don't worry, i'm sure when she gets a chance to take over for Pelosi, Obama will be right there to make sure he does his part to get it done."

    Well you may not be delusional but you sure don't know much about the government. Hillary Clinton is a Senator, Nancy Pelosi is a Representative. Senator Clinton can't, and would not take over Representative Pelosi's postion of Speaker of the House.

    Senator Clinton may take over Senator Harry Reid's position as Senate Majority Leader.

    November 12, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  22. Gary

    I wonder if he needs a food tester. That would be a good job as long as sarah wasn't bringing Moose Stew.

    November 12, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  23. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Setys, stop acting like Obama supporters are somehow morally superior. They've consistently posted the most hateful blogs going all the way back to when Hillary was still hanging on and refused to quit. In fact you still see some anti-Hillary blogs from Obama supporters. if you want your guy to get respect, try starting with respect first. I didn't see much Democratic support when Bush won in 2000. (and yes they did finish the recount and he REALLY won). Just cries that he stole the election. I guess you guys are the 'do as I say, not as I do' party. And by the way, the US is STILL a great country.

    November 12, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  24. Bill

    How can Hillary "take over for Pelosi"? Pelosi is the Speaker of the House of Representatives...a body of congress to which Hillary doesn't even belong. The highest hopes right now for Hillary would be to "take over for" Reid...which I really wouldn't mind seeing, but doubt that the senate would move in that direction.

    November 12, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  25. Jeff from Atlanta

    For all those bloggers who think they are so intelligent saying Obama is creating jobs... actually no he is not.

    Think about it.. (something you probably haven't done this election yet.)

    Alright just to give you a hint because this may be too hard for you to comprehend, he is replacing Bush people with Obama people. No new jobs, actually adding the same to the unemployment lines that he is maybe taking out of the unemployment lines.

    Funny how you are so blind to anything he does thinking it is so great. What's so great about putting 7,996 people out of work??

    November 12, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
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