Claim: First Lady Michelle Obama has an unprecedented number of staffers working for her.
Example: [Collected via e-mail, June 2009]
WOW! SHE IS WHAT I CALL "HIGH MAINTENANCE!"
Mary Lincoln was taken to task for purchasing China for the White House during the Civil War.
And Mamie Eisenhower had to shell out the salary for her personal secretary from her husband’s salary.
Total Personal Staff members for other first ladies paid by you the taxpayers:
Mamie Eisenhower: One — paid for personally out of President's salary.
Jackie Kennedy: One
Rosaline Carter: One
Barbara Bush: One
Hilary Clinton: Three
Laura Bush: One
Michele Obama: Twenty-two
First Lady Requires More Than Twenty Attendants
Recession, Depression, What, Michelle Worry?
July 7, 2009
"In my own life, in my own small way, I have tried to give back to this country that has given me so much," she said. "See, that's why I left a job at a big law firm for a career in public service," Michelle Obama.
No, Michele Obama does not get paid to serve as the First Lady and she doesn't perform any official duties. But this hasn't deterred her from hiring an unprecedented number of staffers to cater to her every whim and to satisfy her every request in the midst of the Great Recession. Just think Mary Lincoln was taken to task for purchasing china for the White House during the Civil War. And Mamie Eisenhower had to shell out the salary for her personal secretary.
How things have changed! If you're one of the tens of millions of Americans facing certain destitution, earning less than subsistence wages stocking the shelves at
Wal-Martor serving up McDonald cheeseburgers, prepare to scream and then come to realize that the benefit package for these servants of Miz Michelle are the same as members of the national security and defense departments and the bill for these assorted lackeys is paid by John Q. Public:
1. $172,200 - Sher, Susan (Chief Of Staff)
2. $140,000 - Frye, Jocelyn C. (Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Policy And Projects For The First Lady)
3. $113,000 - Rogers, Desiree G. (Special Assistant to the President and White House Social Secretary)
4. $102,000 - Johnston, Camille Y. (Special Assistant to the President and Director of Communications for the First Lady)
5. Winter, Melissa E. (Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief Of Staff to the First Lady)
6. $90,000 - Medina, David S. (Deputy Chief Of Staff to the First Lady)
7. $84,000 - Lelyveld, Catherine M. (Director and Press Secretary to the First Lady)
8. $75,000 - Starkey, Frances M. (Director of Scheduling and Advance for the First Lady)
9. $70,000 - Sanders, Trooper (Deputy Director of Policy and Projects for the First Lady)
10. $65,000 - Burnough, Erinn J. (Deputy Director and Deputy Social Secretary)
11. $65,000 - Reinstein, Joseph B. (Deputy Director and Deputy Social Secretary)
12. $62,000 - Goodman, Jennifer R. (Deputy Director of Scheduling and Events Coordinator For The First Lady)
13. $60,000 - Fitts, Alan O. (Deputy Director of Advance and Trip Director for the First Lady)
14. Lewis, Dana M. (Special Assistant and Personal Aide to the First Lady)
15. $52,500 - Mustaphi, Semonti M. (Associate Director and Deputy Press Secretary To The First Lady)
16. $50,000 - Jarvis, Kristen E. (Special Assistant for Scheduling and Traveling Aide To The First Lady)
17. $45,000 - Lechtenberg, Tyler A. (Associate Director of Correspondence For The First Lady)
18. $45,000 - Tubman, Samantha (Deputy Associate Director, Social Office)
19. $40,000 - Boswell, Joseph J. (Executive Assistant to the Chief Of Staff to the First Lady)
20. $36,000 - Armbruster, Sally M. (Staff Assistant to the Social Secretary)
21. $36,000 - Bookey, Natalie (Staff Assistant)
22. $36,000 - Jackson, Deilia A. (Deputy Associate Director of Correspondence for the First Lady)
There has never been anyone in the White House at any time that has created such an army of staffers whose sole duties are the facilitation of the First Lady's social life. One wonders why she needs so much help, at taxpayer expense, when even Hillary, only had three; Jackie Kennedy one; Laura Bush one; and prior to Mamie Eisenhower social help came from the President's own pocket.
Origin:On 1 July 2009, the White House released their Annual Report to Congress on White House Office Staff, a report listing the names, position titles, and salaries of White House employees. Several days later, columnist Lynn Sweet of the
So far as the original White House report was accurate, it was fair to say that First Lady Michelle Obama had about
The 2008 White House Office
White House staffing is fluid, with people and positions coming and going, but according to Anita McBride, Laura Bush's former Chief of Staff,
Moreover, according to the Associated Press, several other First Ladies had larger numbers of personnel working for them than Michelle Obama did:
A look at some first ladies and their staff sizes:
Laura Bush: Between 24 and 26 by end of President George W. Bush's term in 2009, according to Anita McBride, Mrs. Bush's chief of staff.
Lady Bird Johnson, whose signature issue was beautifying roadways, had a staff of 30, said
Stacy A.Cordery, a history professor at Montmouth [sic] College in Illinois who studies first ladies.
Betty Ford had almost the same number.
Jacqueline Kennedy, who made renovating the White House her cause, had about
40 peopleon staff, Cordery said.
Last updated: 21 July 2016
Originally published: 16 August 2009
Dykes, Brett Michael. "Separating Fact from Fiction Regarding the Size of Michelle Obama's Staff."
Yahoo! News. 6 October 2009.
Fromkin, Dan. "White House Watch."
The Washington Post. 24 July 2008.
Associated Press. "A Snapshot of Some First Ladies' Staffs."
6 October 2009.