The following is a weekly 60 Minutes commentary by CBS News correspondent.
I think we'd all agree that being President of the United States is one of the hardest jobs in the world.
When we see the president on television, he's there out front of the White House standing all alone, telling us about what he's doing.
The fact is, though, the president doesn't work alone. I have a list, and by my count, he has 433 assistants.
They make a total salary of $28,000,000. The top people, 17 of them, are each paid $165,000 a year, but here's a woman named Maggie McCoy who makes only $30,000 a year. She's called "Gift Analyst". People are always sending the president stuff, and I guess her job is to open the packages.
James Lloyd is called a "correspondence analyst." He must open the mail. For $30,000 a year, maybe he only reads the postcards.
Laura Bush, the president's wife has people who help her be First Lady too. Anita McBride makes $149,000 as "Chief of Staff for the First Lady".
Stuart Girand Baker is called "Director of Lessons Learned" - sort of a silly title for a guy making $106,000.
Deborah Miser is called "Ethics Advisor" to the president. Erica Dornberg is another "Ethics Advisor." I should think after all this time the president probably knows what's ethical and what isn't.
The president has a lot of speechwriters. Of course, he makes a lot of speeches. William McGurn makes the top pay: $165,200. He's called "Assistant to the President for speechwriting." Matthew Johnson is "Deputy Director of Presidential Writers."
Joan Doty is called "Senior Writer". I don't see any junior writers. There are 13 people listed on the president's staff as "writers." Wouldn't you want to write what you're saying yourself if you were president?
Of the 433 White House assistants to the president, 207 of them are men, 226 are women. The 207 men make a total of $14,635,000. The 226 women make $13,445,000.
Hail to the Chief.
By Andy Rooney
Copyright 2006 CBS. All rights reserved.