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. Yes I Will

    I'll work there in a New York minute. Who wouldn't want to work in a historical administration. Sounds wonderful, sign me up.

    November 12, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  2. IowaMom

    3strikes November 12th, 2008 1:13 pm ET

    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

    -----------------------------

    Man I feel sorry for the sad life you must lead, too much negativity is not good for the soul.

    November 12, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  3. Darrell Burks

    He Sweetie,

    Get over it. Obama will have a diverse and the best of best staff and cabinet. You most likely not qualified – with that statement.

    Darrell

    November 12, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  4. steve

    sweetie......little touchy are we?

    November 12, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  5. Gloria

    I wish he would hire me! I want to be able to do something not only for my country but also for my son so that he can up to me and be proud of his mom. At this point I wish anyone would! Where I work now, the pay is not comparable to my education (B.A. Psychology, working on MBA), I don't know if I'm salaried (no overtime) or hourly (docked for missed hours), the health benefits are more of a detriment than a help ($60 copays!) and this is the only job that makes me physically ill (as I write, I'm running a slight fever, bundled up with a heater under my desk). So yes, hire me, President-Elect Obama!

    November 12, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  6. Mikey

    john November 12th, 2008 1:06 pm ET
    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.
    _________________________________________________
    Getting your message out and fighting smears – $650 million
    Raising the funds needed – 3.5 million donors
    Executing the best ground campaign in history – 1.5 million volunteers

    Watching a bunch of narrow minded fools freak out – Priceless!

    November 12, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  7. Mari the Nanny

    I am a board certified nanny. What an honor it would be to help look after the first children.

    November 12, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  8. IowaMom

    john November 12th, 2008 1:06 pm ET

    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.

    -----------------------------

    Give it a freaking rest. You cannot predict the future, if you could you'd be so rich from the lottery you wouldn't be sitting on your rear end complaining on a blog!

    November 12, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  9. Justin, NY

    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!–George
    -------------------------------–
    Dear George,

    Your name is appropriate. I see you're still drinking the GOP Kool-aid. If you haven't noticed, you're already sharing your paycheck, not with "lazy Democrats", but with greedy Republicans, who tanked Wall Street, and came begging to Congress for more money. Do your homework and stop being LAZY. The information is out there, you just need to read.

    November 12, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  10. Milhouse van Houten

    To Mitch and Spencer:You both would have been fine with the previous
    administration.

    November 12, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  11. Jazz

    Why are there so many negative people on this blog. People if you want a job fill out an application if not shut up. At least it is an offer.

    November 12, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  12. Erica

    I would be honored to work at the White House! Is he willing to pay for relocation fees?

    To all of the haters, stop whining and complaining b/c Obama won. Get off the blogs, and do something constructive to help move this country forward! Your negative comments and views do absolutely nothing for our country, and our children's futures. We owe him RESPECT, we gave Bush respect, and Obama deserves nothing less.

    November 12, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  13. LyonsPhilly

    Marc in Virginia is a putz....Don't ever speak of our First Lady in that manner. Have some respect loser

    November 12, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  14. Soccer Nana

    Robert, you should have asked the 10 previous millionaire presidents to cut their salaries.

    November 12, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  15. Mikey

    Robert November 12th, 2008 1:10 pm ET
    Can someone explain to me why the President needs to make $400,000 a year?
    __________________________________________________
    Considering the awesome responsibility of being POTUS and the skill set required to do a good job, this may be the most underpaid job in the world.

    Your use of the phrase "needs to make" sounds a bit socialist. We don't pay people based on what the NEED to make, but based on the skill set required to do the job and the level of responsiblity it entails.

    November 12, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  16. Rachelle

    There it is again...that socialism word!!! Whoever said socialism was a bad thing. We have tried capitalism for years and years and look where it has us now. Be careful and use your common sense before following the crowds.. Don't just throw words around...

    Americans need work and today it's best if we all stick together support each other so we lift America back up. We need to get her back on her feet. Obama is the President and we need to respect his position and move forward together as people.

    November 12, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  17. Dee

    It's easy to see from these posts who would have the educational background needed to even be a groundskeeper at the White House...so much hatred, so much jealousy...go ahead and MOVE out of the country...that EMPTY SUIT won't miss you...neither will the rest of us...

    I think it is wonderful that they have positions available at the White House..and for the idiots that think PRESIDENT BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA will be personally reviewing your resume and interviewing you, there is work at McDonald's for you...probably coincides with your intelligence level anyway....

    November 12, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  18. Deborah, ME

    Sarah Palin is not an educated woman, but she speaks to many uneducated people who appreciate her. It does no good to trash her supporters.

    What we can do is make sure she doesn't get anywhere near the White House. Thank goodness there are educated people, both Republicans and Democrats who agree on one thing. Sarah Palin is NOT QUALIFIED for the office of the presidency. We dodged a huge bullet on November 4th and thank goodness.

    When Matt Lauer was interviewing her, he looked as if he was thinking, "What an idiot", but he was very polite.

    Also, when Sarah was cooking in the kitchen, she put her hands on the trash can, then continued cooking without washing her hands. Yuck.

    November 12, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  19. Stop the Hate

    Marc, it's Mrs. Obama to you; and by the way, Mrs. Obama is an educated, eloquent speaker. Stop being so jealous, hater.

    November 12, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  20. Greed is not good

    Good luck! Better chance at winning the lottery than getting a job at the White House. Don't hold your breath...

    November 12, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  21. Anne

    Too bad Sarah and McCain spent so much time on JOE 6 PACK and JOE the unlicensed plumber. Seems to me yesterday on the home page was JOE THE HOMELESS NAVY VETERAN. Maybe a few more would have voted for them.

    November 12, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  22. WELCOME TO THE OBAMA SHOW

    THE OBAMA SUPPORTERS DON'T WANT THOSE JOBS.

    THEY WOULD HAVE TO GO TO WORK INSTEAD OF GETTING FREE MONEY FROM OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 12, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  23. Vic

    I would work there for free!!!

    November 12, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  24. 30-m-PA-Democrat-voted McCain

    With Obama's experience, or lack thereof, he will need a lot of help. What's wrong with this country? You would think that after the failed experiment of the last 8 years the people would have learned a lesson. Nope.

    November 12, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  25. fordo

    Well, since tax-freedom day is in April, we technically ALL work for the government for 1/4 of the year.

    What they are really saying is that after we bailout the car companies, then will have to bailout airlines, and then more for the farmers, then some for the "civilian security force", and then more for the schools, and nationalized healthcare, we will actually all work for the government for most of the time. When we cross the 50% point for taxing, then we might as well just nationalize everything.

    Wouldn't it be a better world if everyone got the same healthcare (not good healthcare–but at least the same), then we could all drive the same cars–car makers could make the same cars, we would all have the same 401k, and could all live in government housing (once they finally take over the banks completely).

    Ah, this is the world I dream of....

    November 12, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
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