November 12th, 2008
11:23 AM ET
14 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. Enough

    I see its silly season in here. Moving to higher grounds...where can I find this plum book?

    November 12, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  2. Bama Fan

    Well that will help 7996 people who are unemployed. He better come up with a better plan than this to help the remaining MILLIONS of people who are unemployed. Wow, is that the CHANGE he has been talking about? This amounts to a drop in the bucket compared to what is needed. Make moves to strengthen/bring back our manufacturing jobs and stop sending our jobs overseas.

    November 12, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  3. ChicagoJosh

    Its actually very easy to apply. I'd tell everyone how, but i'd rather keep the competition for my future job limited.

    and who is this lady blasting the mccain haters?? there's hardly any of them anymore. Sure, we love to make fun of Palin, but thats way too easy.

    there are way more obama/muslim/black people haters still spewing thier vile.

    November 12, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  4. Brian from Fort Mill, SC

    Dee November 12th, 2008 1:02 pm ET

    Does he need an intern
    No, but the Clintons are hiring, too. Check with them!

    November 12, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  5. John

    I believe that the help wanted sign is to work for the Gestapo.

    November 12, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  6. Dave

    I think the headline to this article says it all.
    Tehy need help with some of the appointments obama is about to make, we are getting nowhere with no change. Especially the names floating for Treasury. Nothing but more thieves to handle the money.

    November 12, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  7. Obama Thought Police

    Perhaps Sarah Palin could be hired as the official scapegoat.


    November 12, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  8. Laura from Willis

    It really is sad to see so many bitter and angry people online. President Elect Obama promised to help the USA have more jobs. What better way to start?
    Give credit where credit is due. Give the man a chance.

    November 12, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  9. Setys

    In addition to what I have posted, please, I beg of the supporters of President elect Obama, don't post evil comments or negative comments about Senator McCain or Governor Palin anymore. Stop posting negative comments about Senator McCain and Governor Palin; don't come to the low level of those haters who are posting negative or evil comments about President elect Obama.

    We should not come low to their low level; they are bitter and frustrated group of people. We should pray that God will clean their hearts, forgive them, and take control of their comments.

    We should try to have good and clean hearts to be able to pray and fast for the success of President elect Obama and for this country to regain its' glory again.

    I know that in six months time, the economy will improve, the country will change for the better, and President Barack Obama will be successful in the next eight years. He will not disappoint us and the world. He will be one of the greatest Presidents in the history of America.

    USA will be back to its full potential as the greatest country again.

    November 12, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  10. V. Clausewitz

    ....the right Reverend J. Wright has my vote for Director of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Then we will all have a fair chance at the rest of these jobs.

    November 12, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  11. jeff

    I'm not a US citizen but wish I was ( I'm a British teacher working overseas). The US is again the leading light in the world and I would love to be part of it. I know this may sound gushy and a bit pathetic but America has done a truly great thing. God Bless all of you.

    November 12, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  12. Mike, Vancouver

    To Maggie in SC:

    What are you saying with this comment?

    "There are certainly going to be a lot of rich Afro americans after Obama hires them."

    What are you trying to say?

    Competition is good, it gets the best out of available resources.

    Are you afraid an african american will get hired over you?

    What do you have to offer? Quit whining, be positive, do something for your country, do something for your self.

    The Unitied States of America just got larger if you have't noticed.

    Quit sitting on your self pity, free yourself of the republican doctrine, it is small thinking.

    November 12, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  13. Lynda

    Maggie~ You're on track. I think our new president should use his community organizer savy and coordinate an all out effort to round up all the homeless and/or unemployed young people who can be put on a fast track to recieving training and jobs in green building and alternative energy. Now is the time for all young people to come to the aid of their country. Our youth is our future. Put them to work, not in the bread line.

    November 12, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  14. Freda Keshavjee

    I just wanted to comment that if Sarah Palin had refused a new wardrobe, even if it is going to be auctioned, I sincerely believe she could have been the Vice-President today.

    As it is unfortunately I got the impression that as soon as she had the opportunity she was happy to, I believe the expression is "Pork Barrel".



    November 12, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  15. KC

    Ummm...Observer: He is hiring almost 8000 people because about that many will lose their jobs when President Bush it's pretty much an even trade....not so much job creation.

    November 12, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  16. Joe

    Maggie in NY....where did I say he "signed" anything? Please don't tele I', wrong...I am not....A man's word should be worth more than his signature.

    And neither candidate can promise to STOP 527's.....that is called Freedom of Speech...they are an independent group...and have the right to say what they wish.

    November 12, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  17. Mike

    I just wish that those who send comments here were able to spell properly or take the time to ensure their message is correctly written. It shows that the educational system has been failing or the writers are too lazy to ensure that their messages are succinct.

    November 12, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  18. Art

    Can someone tell me where I send my resume to?

    November 12, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  19. Mary WA

    Palin should work as a White House intern. Maybe she could learn some applicable facts about government in the lower 48 and something about protocol. It would be nice if she could mix her snide arrogance with some" Christian" humility. I'll tell you where the sexism is. It's in the fact that, if she were not so psysically attractive-she wouldn't be polling that high with men.

    November 12, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  20. Voted for Obama

    These immature nasty comments are disheartening and sickening. Can people act like adults and stop all this nastiness. This is unbelievable. This is not doing you any good. Oh wait a minute..... it shows us there is still ugliness in the world. Sad, really sad!

    November 12, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  21. Edward

    What about the 7,996 people already in those jobs being put out?
    Nobody ever thinks of the people being 'fired' – only the JOBS to be had.. climbing over the tops of each other to get them... Frankly, some of the BEST experienced people may be just 'let go' as Barack fills promised jobs to people... Sad, really sad..

    November 12, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  22. Brian - Trinidad

    Can't wait to see what Oprah gets!

    November 12, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  23. Debbie

    How do I get a hold of the "Plum Book"? I would really love to have a copy of that.

    November 12, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  24. Mike

    Those of you who want to discard Senator McCain, don't be so hasty.

    There is much to be said for what was said on the campaign trail, no matter how dirty it was.

    The important thing is that Senator McCain said to all of the American people that " The failure of this campaign is mine alone". This speaks to his personal integrity.

    He did not put failure on anyone else, however it is percieved in the media.

    November 12, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  25. wait a minute

    I hope the Obama administration can hire the best qualified candidate for each position regardless of party affiliation, gender, religion, and race.

    November 12, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
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