April 12 2012
We’ve just learned about a place where the wage gap is alive and well:
Female employees in the Obama White House make considerably less than their male colleagues, records show.
According to the 2011 annual report on White House staff, female employees earned a median annual salary of $60,000, which was about 18 percent less than the median salary for male employees ($71,000).
Mr. Obama, stop this war on women!
Carrie addressed this phenomenon on National Review (also available on our homepage.)
Both Carrie and the Free Beacon, which seems to have broken the White House wage gap story, are cognizant of the delicious irony of the Obama White House’s attacking Republicans for waging a “war on women,” while at the very same time apparently underpaying women on their own staff. But the habit of paying women less apparently is nothing new for President Obama.
According to Deroy Murdock, there was a similar wage gap in Obama offices when President Obama was a senator. Murdock speculates:
One explanation for Obama’s pay inequity is that he apparently is just not that into women in high places. Since his Senate days, top salaries have tended to benefit predominantly male senior staffers, while the lower-paid junior ranks have been the likelier places to find women. …
Obama should stop his grating hypocrisy and pursue fairness and social justice by ending his very own War on Women. Obama should start by paying his female staffers median salaries of $71,000, just like all the president’s men. (Alternatively, Obama could achieve fairness by cutting male pay to female levels.) The much-empowered women of the White House then would be free to choose whether to spend their 18 percent higher incomes on birth control — or whatever else helps them pursue happiness.
Something is happening to the “war on women” strategy on the way to November: it is becoming funny. Becoming the butt of jokes is lethal in politics (ask Lunar Newt). Hilary Rosen’s insulting Ann Romney, which backfired, is also an example of the WOW’s becoming funny rather than serious.
But the WOW may not have been working, even before it became a punch line. Marc Thiessen writes in a piece headlined “Obama’s Women Problem:”
When he took office in 2009, Obama’s job approval rating with women had reached 70 percent; today it has slipped to 49 percent — a precipitous decline of 21 points.
This is why the president has been working overtime to court the women’s vote — weighing in on whether women should be admitted to the Augusta National Golf Club (even though nobody asked what he thought); publicly taking the side of a female Georgetown University law student in her spat with Rush Limbaugh; and forcing religious employers to provide coverage for contraception and abortion-inducing drugs.
But here’s the interesting thing: It’s not working. As these controversies have dominated the news in recent weeks, Obama’s approval rating among women has not gone up; it has actually declined slightly. Why is that? Perhaps it’s because country club membership and who pays for birth control are not the issues women voters are most concerned about.
If I worked in the White House, I think I'd march into the boss's (Oval) office tomorrow and ask for a raise.