They've been barred for nearly a decade, but now, the 7,000 or so federal jobs appointed by the president are open to Democrats, and it looks like the outsiders want in. With a Democrat taking over from President Bush, the jobs—the number of which has swollen since 2000—are in high demand. Just ask some Democratic House and Senate staffers, who took time from applying to E-mail Whispers. "I applied, why not?" asked a top aide to a Democratic senator just re-elected. "No one is working this week. Everyone I've talked to is pretending to work but has secretly filled out their application on change.gov to join the revolution to remake America," added another aide to a Senate Democratic committee chairman.
Aides told of how they are thumbing through the Plum Book and looking at Obama's www.change.gov site at various jobs and applications. The demands for information dating back 10 years aren't giving many of the applicants pause, however. "This is a new president, a young guy who has seen what happens if you don't really dig deep into people's backgrounds. Look at what happened to Clinton. He was hurt right from the start because they didn't vet his people well," says a House Democratic aide. Of course, a sweep of Hill aides into the administration would have to be followed by a huge hiring spree on Capitol Hill by Democrats. "This is full employment for our side, finally," says one gleeful Dem.