The Obama Orphans: Lost in Transition
When President Obama took over the White House, thousands of campaign workers—who had abandoned the stability of education, careers, and even marriage to work for him—found themselves jobless. We spoke with a few of them.
Politically, the timing of the economic crash was perfect. For the campaign staff, it couldn’t have been worse. Wandering a desolate economic landscape, many moved in with parents for the first time in a decade. A few were appointed to positions in the administration. Some got jobs in the White House. The others shared breakfast cereal with mom and dad and wondered if uncertainty elsewhere was better than the stale safety of home.
They had quit jobs, left colleges and grad schools, and ended relationships for something larger than themselves. At its peak, the campaign employed roughly 6,000 full-time workers. It seduced them with its patriotic promise, and the innocent were drawn out of the usual apathy and into what seemed an absolute purpose. With the movement now behind them, with sleeping bags and laptops and a decent shirt and pair of shoes, they drove to Washington, D.C., hopeful that Barack Obama might again give them something to do