When President Barack Obama moved into the White House earlier this year, he took several of his fellow Chicago millionaires with him.
Newly released disclosure reports show virtually all of the top Chicagoans serving in the West Wing had assets valued at a million dollars or more at the end of 2008.
In several cases, the reports provide the first detailed look at the finances of some of the president's top aides and friends from Chicago who have risen with him. They also show the salary haircut many have taken to be in the White House, at least until they return to the private sector.
Some of the wealth can be attributed to the fact that the top staff members surrounding Obama — such as Chicagoans Rahm Emanuel, David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett — are from a big city where salaries tend to be higher. Many of the comparable senior staffers with the previous two presidents came from Austin, Texas, and Little Rock, Ark., where salaries for top professionals tend to be the lower than in Chicago.