Can you say, detached from reality? And these guys are supposed to be working class heroes.
Perhaps it was the long flight back from Hawaii. But President Obama’s first full day back on the job suggested a slight case of tone deafness.
In bidding a sort-of farewell to White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, he noted the “relatively modest pay” for which Gibbs has labored.
In fact, he earns $172,200 in a nation where the average family income hovers around $55,000, unemployment is high, record foreclosures persist and wages for most folks are at best stagnant.
But implicit in Gibbs’ departure is the desire to slow down, recharge and earn a lot more money, especially after an arduous several years where he’s been on call 24/7. He’s hired an esteemed lawyer-agent, Robert Barnett, and is expected to hit the very lucrative speaking tour universe exploited by Washington insiders, including high-profile journalists.
It’s a world in which a one-hour appearance can bring more than many Americans earn in a year, with the elite in the roughly $50,000 to $75,000 range. You offer a few benign inside anecdotes, take some questions and then get taken back by limo to the airport and a seat in first-class (assuming your deal doesn’t include a private jet, as is the case for some journalists I know).