The ranks of the nation’s unemployed are swelling this week.
As President-elect Barack Obama’s team transitions into the federal government, President Bush’s political appointees will be locked out, and in these tough economic times many of them are scrambling to find new jobs. High-ranking White House loyalists have deluged Washington headhunters with pleas for jobs. Corporations and nonprofit organizations have stopped hiring. With the GOP out of power, jobs on Capitol Hill are scant and K Street lobbying firms have trimmed their golden parachutes.
So this is the new reality: Instead of boasting to friends and colleagues of new jobs in goodbye e-mails, many longtime Bush aides have offered home phone numbers and Gmail and Yahoo e-mail addresses as their new contacts.
“For Republicans, the inn is full,” lamented veteran GOP operative Ron Kaufman, a close White House adviser to former president George H.W. Bush and an executive at Dutko Worldwide. “You have lots of folks in the House and Senate on the streets and 3,000 administration appointees on the streets at a time when the job market is shrinking anyways. It’s just not a fun time.”
Of the roughly 8,000 politically appointed positions in the federal government, hundreds have been vacant since a wave of departures last spring, administration officials said. But appointees who have remained through the final days of the Bush administration have seen an already shaky job market collapse. The traditional avenues of employment for outgoing government officials — corporations, nonprofit foundations or think tanks — are clogged because of hiring freezes…
For many Bush appointees, this is the first time they’ve been on the job market for years, if not decades. Many came to Washington during the 1990s to take jobs in the Republican-controlled Congress, only to move into the administration after Bush’s 2000 election.
“These are people who haven’t put together a résumé in 20 years,” said Steve Gunderson, a former Republican congressman who is president of the Council on Foundations. He has been reviewing résumés of those seeking jobs in the nonprofit sector. “It’s a first for them in developing résumés, applying for open and competitive jobs, and trying to figure out where their skills might work best.”
For most of these creeps, there should be enough reactionary corporations around to find them a spot restocking toilet paper. Personally, I wouldn’t give them a job sucking septic tanks clean. Without a hose.