As outgoing President Barack Obama plans to head off on vacation when he vacates the White House next week, his staffers and appointees are struggling to find work in Washington, D.C.
Following President-elect Donald Trump’s victory and Republicans’ major electoral gains in November, outgoing Obama employees and loyalists to failed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton have found their job prospects in the District foundering, according to Politico.
“It feels like there are just thousands of us trying to find a job, and there are no jobs,” longtime Clinton aide Mira Patel, who worked for Clinton in her Senate, State Department and 2016 campaign offices, told the outlet.
Following Trump’s surprise victory Nov. 8, Democratic operatives no longer have some 4,000 presidentially appointed jobs for which to apply when the billionaire businessman takes the oath of office Jan. 20.
The Democratic workers who were expecting to see a Clinton White House are reportedly finding the transition especially difficult:
Clinton aides appear to be having a harder time, both emotionally and practically.
“There’s anger, there’s frustration, there’s anxiety, there’s burnout,” said Russ Finkelstein, a managing director at Clearly Next and longtime progressive career guru (including as a founding team member at the lefty jobs board Idealist.org) who has been counseling Clinton alumni.
“People are in shock,” said Anastasia Kessler-Dellaccio, 35, who quit her job at Sister Cities International to run Foreign Policy Professionals for Hillary. Some Clinton campaign workers say they’ve lost their bearings because they’re so rattled by the differences in Trump’s values from those represented by Obama and Clinton.
Kessler-Dellaccio added, “I think people, myself included, are trying to figure out, ‘How do I recalibrate my dreams?’”
But it’s not all bad news. Laslo Bock, Google’s outgoing chief of human resources, has, according to the Wall Street Journal, established a database of résumés to help Obama staffers and Clinton advocates find work after their unexpected yet impending unemployment.
Given the dire situation some outgoing Obama staffers are in: “A lot of us are looking for any fit,” Patel said — the soon-to-be-former president is doing what he can to help his supporters find work in Trump’s Washington.
“The president made it a priority to ensure that, throughout his administration, employees had access to professional development resources and tools to help them advance in their careers and transition to new opportunities,” White House spokeswoman Brandi Hoffine told Politico, describing Obama as “extremely grateful” to those staffers who have stayed with him over the years.