November 12th, 2008
11:23 AM ET
6 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.


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soundoff (175 Responses)
  1. john

    I see Obama as a dictator who has a thirst for world power that cannot be quenched.

    His socialism in America is just the beginning, but it will be the end for many.

    This man is consumed by his own ego and his own history-making election. But just making history is not enough. He'll be known eventually for other less benign achievements.

    November 12, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  2. Milhouse van Houten

    The "Plum Book"-the name comes from the color of its cover.Come on,who you trying to kid?The name comes from the job description.
    A quarter of a million for being some sort of boot-licking,sycophantic
    minion.The line forms on the left.

    November 12, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  3. Purple Nurple

    Obama will be no different. He will hire the same people who have recked haovc in this country.

    November 12, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  4. Robert

    Can someone explain to me why the President needs to make $400,000 a year? He doesn't pay rent, has no car payment, doesn't buy gas, or groceries. That would equate to a lot more in the real world. Obviously corporate CEO's earn much more, but this is public service, not a profit-making enterprise. Obama could make a big public statement by reducing his salary.

    November 12, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  5. LyonsPhilly

    Does Michelle need childcare.....How about a secretary. I'm there.

    November 12, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  6. conservative

    Now comes the partisan spoils paid for by us!

    November 12, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  7. shaiiwn hoover

    check it out
    we might be interested
    no matter what happen, we pray god almighty to keep the new Administration strong and guide by the Pure Spirit
    may God Bless the new President Elect and His Team
    Shaiiwn

    November 12, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  8. Cynthia; Bham

    It would be great if he could open up small offices in every state. I most certainly would want a job in my state.

    November 12, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  9. Marc in Virginia

    The next press secretary has got his or her hands full with all the moronic things that come out of Michelle's mouth.

    November 12, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  10. 3strikes

    let the favoritism and nepotism begin. thats the reason why america will be spiraling down to oblivion, because of inexperienced empty suit idiocy, that just wants to play president, 1st term senator, makes me sick

    November 12, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  11. Cammi317

    LOL...I am not mad at you Tim. Does he need a paralegal or bookkeeper?

    November 12, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  12. Debby, NJ

    Joe the Plumber needs a gig !

    November 12, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  13. Alisha, MN

    Guess I am moving to DC where the jobs are!

    November 12, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  14. Kim, Charlotte, NC

    Tim the plumber.....that was funny!

    November 12, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  15. No Hillary = No Obama

    Can I work from home?

    November 12, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  16. Make more than prez

    No CEO need apply.

    November 12, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  17. Stacy the Secretary

    Or a secretary?

    November 12, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  18. Soccer Nana

    Educated American citizens, there are jobs to be filled! If you are educated and smart, please apply.

    November 12, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  19. Joe Banana

    You can put a suit on a monkey but in the end its still a monkey.

    November 12, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  20. April in Texas

    My husband has applied and although its a long shot it is still a shot.. Any job would be great to have right now.

    November 12, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  21. George

    I wouldn't work for that arrogant idiot!! I have a good job, thank you, and I don't intend to share my paycheck with some lazy democrat with his/her hand out!

    November 12, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  22. park more

    Obama just bla bla bla......... Just do what you said... Taxes cut, improve economy, stop war in Irak.......... Just do what you were elected for

    November 12, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  23. precious

    First up uproar was about the "Black man", now the uproar is about the "White woman", and we want to talk "Unity". God forbid!

    November 12, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  24. Soccer Nana

    Sweetie, go somewhere; just go. President Elect Obama does not have a problem with anyone.

    You are your own problem; you wouldn't happen to have a backwards "B" on your face would you?

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

    First the uproar was about the "Black man", now the uproar is about the "White woman, and we want to talk "Unity". God forbid!

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