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. Chris

    I wanna work!

    November 12, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  2. Tim the Plumber

    Does he need a Plumber?

    November 12, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  3. Lisa

    How do I apply?

    November 12, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  4. Lynn in NM

    Maybe his aunt can get a work visa.

    November 12, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  5. NJ

    They shoul dbe making out good!!
    Look what Americans did!! LOL

    November 12, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  6. Spencer/VA

    Everyone needs to be involved and I'm glad to see the Obama Adminstration reaching out to Americans to get this country back on track. if I didn't have a criminal record, I would apply for a job.

    November 12, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  7. paul (staunch Moderate)

    If he's smart Obama would CUT back on those positions. The US Government is so bloated it needs a good purging. The White House administration would be a terrific place to start.

    November 12, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  8. PC from DC

    I'll do the dishes!!

    November 12, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  9. Angel09

    $191,000 is certainly a pay cut for anyone qualified to hold that position. It's sad that our government can't even come close to matching what industry offers for jobs that are arguably more demanding and challenging.

    November 12, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  10. Stacy from Loudoun County VA

    A plum book for some cherry jobs! I might have to drop my resume to see if I could land one of those gigs!

    November 12, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  11. Northern Michigan

    I want to work with Barack at the White House!

    November 12, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  12. EW

    I've always found it strange that civil servants get paid so much and they spend millions upon millions of dollars to get into these positions.

    There should be no federal funding or private contributions to political campaigns. If you want to be elected you should have to spend your own money.

    November 12, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  13. Sweetie

    I'd apply for one of those "Plum" Jobs.....

    However I'm an Independent "Typical White Women" that Obama has already dismissed by calling me "Sweetie"!

    He has a real problem with White women who are more accomplished then he is!

    Good Luck to all who apply!

    November 12, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  14. Rockford

    Might be the last time you see this type of sign for awhile.

    November 12, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  15. blaising

    I'll take one!!

    November 12, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  16. Joe

    I am absolutely disgusted by the behavior of the people posting on these blogs. Yes I voted for Obama...but the hate you guys are still throwing at John Mccain is horrible. Say what you will about Sen. Mccain....I agree that he would not have been an effective President....but this man is a true American hero and a fine gentleman. He ran an honorable campaign, kept his word to keep Rev. Wright out of the debate and should be doing nothing but holding his head high. This is a man full of accomplishments, integrity, and honesty. Even though I voted for Sen. Obama...lets face facts...Sen. Obama outright lied to Sen. Mccaine when the campaigns agreed to take public financing...John Mccain kept his word. And for everyone that says Sen. Obama would have raised more money, let us remember that the last month Sen. Mccain was fundraising he matched Obama's numbers.

    Show this man some respect, becaause he has done more fot this country and more for you than 99% of people in this great country.

    God Bless Sen. Mccain and God Bless President-elect Obama.

    And to all the windbags on this site...grow up!

    November 12, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  17. Brian from Fort Mill, SC

    Tim the Plumber November 12th, 2008 12:40 pm ET

    Does he need a Plumber?
    ---------------
    No, he just hired a guy named Joe! :)

    November 12, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  18. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I'd like to sign up. What are they still looking for? I can't believe that they don't have people pounding down the doors with people looking for something; mainly from the campaign I would guess.

    November 12, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  19. Brian from Fort Mill, SC

    Does he need members for his cabinet?

    Or does he need someone to CLEAN the cabinets? I'd be willing to do either!

    November 12, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  20. Dee

    Does he need an intern ;-)

    November 12, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  21. Jonathan

    Where can I get a copy? And where do I apply?

    November 12, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  22. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    These positions require higher education and neither Palin nor her husband would qualify.

    November 12, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  23. Renee Lampkin

    How do I learn about the open positons under President-Elect Obama?

    November 12, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  24. mitch

    i want to be white-house bartender........

    November 12, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  25. Amanda

    I think the "plum book" is a good idea, probably wouldn't hurt much to be able to keep track of all of the positions and which ones need to be filled.

    November 12, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
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