L'Ombre de l'Olivier

The Shadow of the Olive Tree

being the maunderings of an Englishman on the Côte d'Azur

12 September 2008 Blog Home : September 2008 : Permalink

Sexist Democrats

At the NRO, Deroy Murdock shows that Obama is apparently more sexist than McCain in terms of the salaries he pays his staffers. He got this information from a website called legistorm which lists the reported salaries of congressional staffers. Mr Murdock found that:

Obama’s average male employee earned $54,397.

Obama’s 30 female employees split $1,354,580 among themselves, or $45,152, on average.


McCain’s 17 male staffers split $916,914, thus averaging $53,936. His 25 female employees divided $1,396,958 and averaged $55,878.

In other words McCain pays his males and females roughly the same and thus apparently employs both men and women in senior and junior positions in a comparable ratio which Obama appears to not have many well paid women.

I was curious and decided to take a few minutes to see if I could reproduce his results, I report similar but not identical results for reasons which I'll explain below. I also added Senator Biden to the list (and if anyone can find Governor Palin's staff salaries I'll be happy to add those).

The results I found are in the table below:

Senator Male Employees Female Employees Average Male Salary Avg Female Salary Salary Difference (F/M %)
Biden 15 25 $85,144.80 $55,922.33 65.68%
McCain 17 25 $53,259.36 $55,958.67 105.07%
Obama 27 30 $56,298.75 $45,070.09 80.06%
These numbers are not far off Murdock's. I seem to have lost one Obama male (I think I counted one Obam male staffer as an intern that Mr Murdock decided to keep) and I suspect our pro-rating calculations are subtly different. It could be that this is due to how we pro-rate the handful of staffers who seem to have had occasional weeks when they weren't paid generally around Christmas.

What is interesting is that although Senator Biden is (from this list) considerably more generous with salaries than either McCain or Obama he is even more of a sexist according to this measure.

If you want to quibble with my analysis my spreadsheets are available to play with in OpenOffice and Excel format.

Update: Welcome instapunditeers. Also please see this follow on post