You know, I usually have sympathy for anyone in this position but I'm having trouble tapping into the empathy for this bunch: The jobless rate is han
February 22, 2009

You know, I usually have sympathy for anyone in this position but I'm having trouble tapping into the empathy for this bunch:

The jobless rate is hanging high -- for many of the roughly 3,000 political appointees who served President George W. Bush. Finding work has proved a far tougher task than those appointees expected.

"This is not a great time for anyone to be job hunting, including numerous former political appointees," said Carlos M. Gutierrez, Mr. Bush's commerce secretary. Previously chief executive of cereal maker Kellogg Co., he hopes to run a company again because "I have a lot of energy."

Only 25% to 30% of ex-Bush officials seeking full-time jobs have succeeded, estimated Eric Vautour, a Washington recruiter at Russell Reynolds Associates Inc. That "is much, much worse" than when Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton left the White House, he said. At least half those presidents' senior staffers landed employment within a month after the administration ended, Mr. Vautour recalled.

A handful of Bush cabinet officers have accepted academic appointments. Former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson joined Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies as a fellow. Condoleezza Rice, previously secretary of state, resumed her Stanford University roles as a political-science professor and senior fellow at its Hoover Institution think tank.

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