Bush's A-list: Who gets the top salaries?

A rundown on the senior White House aides who get the much-coveted title of "assistant to the president" and the top West Wing pay.

President Bush has added two slots to the cadre of senior aides who get the much-coveted title of "assistant to the president" and the top West Wing salary. That brings the number to 19, a setback to White House Chief of Staff Andy Card's efforts to streamline the Executive Office of the President, but well below the 26 people who at one point held that status under President Clinton.

The 2005 list promotes three people and downgrades one White House post from assistant to deputy -- that of director of Bush's USA Freedom Corps -- following the departure of John Bridgeland. Last year, senior aides each earned $157,000 a year -- about 11 percent less than Cabinet secretaries and 3 percent less than members of Congress. This year's salaries will not be made public until June, White House spokeswoman Erin Healy said.

"When Republicans come into the White House, they are sensitive to the need to leave room for promotion and salary increases," said presidential scholar Martha Joynt Kumar of Towson University, who has studied White House transitions and staff organizations.

The current list, compiled by National Journal and fact-checked by the White House:

  • Andrew Card, chief of staff
  • Karl Rove, deputy chief of staff and senior adviser
  • Joseph Hagin, deputy chief of staff for operations
  • Dan Bartlett, counselor
  • Nicolle Devenish, communications director
  • Stephen Hadley, national security adviser
  • Jack Dyer Crouch II, national security deputy
  • Al Hubbard, National Economic Council director
  • Claude Allen, Domestic Policy Council director
  • Harriet Miers, counsel
  • Candida Wolff, legislative-affairs director
  • Michael Gerson, policy and strategic planning
  • William McGurn, speechwriting director
  • Scott McClellan, press secretary
  • Frances Townsend, homeland-security adviser
  • Jim Towey, Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives director
  • Dina Powell, personnel director
  • Brett Kavanaugh, staff secretary
  • Lewis (Scooter) Libby, vice president's chief of staff