Sen. Barack Obama’s top Senate staff is very racially diverse, but only five of the 15 highest paid people are female.
The inner circle of the paid political team Obama, the Illinois Democrat is hiring for his presidential run is not yet as ethnically diverse, and men considerably outnumber women, almost two to one.
A look at the 15 highest-paid Obama Senate staffers in Washington and Illinois shows six are black, two are Asian-American, five are white, one is Hispanic and one is Indian-American. The racial identities were provided by Obama’s office.
The top 15 salaries range from $160,659 to $79,000, and the four who make more than $100,000 are men. Ten of the top 15 best-paid Obama staffers are nonwhite. Of Obama’s entire staff of 57, 26 are nonwhite.
Roster will grow
Obama staff of political professionals will grow in the coming weeks as he staffs up his national campaign headquarters in Chicago and hires operatives in the early primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.
One of Obama’s most important advisers in the process of putting together a White House run and building a political infrastructure has been Peter Rouse, who is the chief of staff for Obama’s Senate operation. The plan now calls for Rouse to stay in his government role.
Obama’s 2008 White House team thus far:
David Axelrod, media strategist. Founder of Chicago-based AKP Media. Handled Obama’s 2004 Senate race. “A” client list: consults for Mayor Daley, Rep. Rahm Emanuel.
David Plouffe, campaign manager. Partner, AKP Media, lives in Washington.
Betsy Myers, chief operating officer. Executive director of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Director of President Bill Clinton’s Office for Women’s Initiatives and Outreach. (Sister of Dee Dee Myers, Clinton’s first press secretary.)
Robert Gibbs, communications chief. Spokesman for Obama’s Senate and political operations.
Paul Harstad, pollster. Handled Obama’s 2004 campaign.
Cornell Belcher, pollster. Democratic National Committee pollster.
Devorah Adler, research director. DNC research director.
Shauna Daly, deputy research director. DNC deputy research director.
Alyssa Mastromonaco, scheduling and advance. Political director for Obama’s HOPEFUND political action committee.
Saul Schorr, media consultant. Runs a Philadelphia firm.
Julianna Smoot, finance director. Finance director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee this cycle.
Cassandra Butts, probably policy chief. Now at the Center for American Progress think tank. Obama law school classmate.
Pete Giangreco, direct mail, Iowa adviser. Partner, the Strategy Group, Evanston. Veteran of several Iowa primaries.
Steve Hildebrand, adviser. Runs South Dakota-based political consulting firm and is an Iowa specialist.
Paul Tewes, adviser. Hildebrand partner.
Bill Burton, national press secretary. Spokesman, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee this cycle.
Dan Pfeiffer, traveling press secretary. Was press chief for Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.).
Matt Rodriguez, New Hampshire campaign manager.
Obama’s chief rival, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, hosted a massive conference call on Sunday evening, moderated by Terry McAuliffe, a former DNC chief, with Clinton’s finance director, Jonathan Mantz.
Clinton told the group that she plans to organize advisory groups to provide ideas for the campaign and that she intends to have “many surrogates and speakers to be ambassadors for the campaign.” McAuliffe said major fund-raising events are being set for March.