Little fluff here from the WaPost on working at the White House. Apparently it is news that folks there work long days, are maniacally driven, etc. The only good thing about this article is that there was recognition that hard work at the White House didn't start with "the one".
I had an opportunity to join the Bush White House as I left the Navy, as a staffer on the "Homeland Security Council" (soon to be--correctly--tucked back into the National Security Council). Going over to the Old Executive Office Building and talking with the guy who would be my boss (a Special Assistant to the President who made $15000 a year less than I did as a Navy Commander) was a delightful experience, and eye opening. Yes, the people there work like dogs (and this was year 6 of the Bush Administration)--more to the point, they do it in a ridiculously under-resourced way. The offices are tiny, phones are shared, desks are carved out of whatever little space can be found. I know Mudge would be very happy to see folks toiling under these conditions, but when you added up the 14 hour days--every day--the crummy compensation, and the mean working conditions, it simply wasn't for me.
National Security Adviser James Jones had come under some leaked criticism from un-named sources in the White House because of his gentlemanly 10-12 hour days. He has said that anything more than that simply points to bad time management. I tend to agree with him.