Democrats Lay Off Staffers But Romney Keeps Paying

A better job market for Democrats — and a generous gesture from the former Republican nominee.

Eric Gay, File / AP

WASHINGTON — Even as Mitt Romney’s aides continue to receive paychecks — a gesture of generosity from the defunct campaign — Democrats at the Obama campaign and at the Democratic National Committee have begun packing their bags.

In Chicago and around the country, President Barack Obama’s campaign staffers earned their last paycheck on Friday as much of the campaign closed down, aides said. And Just a week after Election Day, the Democratic National Committee is shedding staff, a spokesperson confirmed Tuesday.

“Nothing out of the ordinary — we bulk up in advance of elections and slim down for a time afterwards,” said DNC communications director Brad Woodhouse, when asked about the departures.

The last paycheck Romney staffers will receive will be on November 30th, said one staffer.

The contrast is emblematic of how both campaigns spent its funds this cycle, with Democrats running a lean, data-driven, and dispassionate operation, while Romney paid out bonuses to senior staff and on balance compensated even junior staffers more than the Democratic side. Democrats also have better job prospects than Republicans in a town where their party controls the White House and the Senate.

The DNC’s quick move may also be a reflection of its campaign-season debts. Two weeks before the polls closed, the DNC’s FEC filing showed it had $10.3 million in cash on hand, but $20.9 million in outstanding debts and obligations — including a $15 million loan from Amalgamated Bank Of New York with a due date in 2014. It is not clear if any departments bore a disproportionate level of the reductions in the cash-starved committee.

The Romney aide, meanwhile, pointed to the ongoing payments as a sign of the Republican nominee’s concern for those who worked for him.

Another sign of Romney’s ongoing focus on his staff: On Wednesday, Romney used a good chunk of his meeting with top donors to pitch his “body-man” Garrett Jackson for jobs for their firms.

“I’m sure their donors won’t be pissed at all,” one former Obama staffer quipped.

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