The Reliable Source

By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Friday, January 16, 2009

Campuses Crusade To Secure Prof. Biden

Everyone's job-seeking right now -- Democrats for the best slots in the new administration, Republicans angling for the good private-sector gigs, nonpartisans just trying to stay employed somewhere.

But one Washingtonian will have more offers than she can possibly consider: Jill Biden.

The soon-to-be second lady, a longtime community college instructor back home in Delaware, has repeatedly said she wants to continue teaching once she moves to D.C. And our area community colleges are clamoring to hire her.

Montgomery College sent Biden a letter after the election asking if she'd be interested in a job. "Our president mapped it out -- we're 6 1/2 miles away," spokeswoman Elizabeth Homan said. Northern Virginia Community College has had "some e-mail and telephone contact" about a Biden job, President Robert Templin told us. "She's not made any decisions that we're aware of, but we're continuing to express interest."

Allen Sessoms, president of the four-year University of the District of Columbia, has also reached out. He knew both Bidens during his time as president of Delaware State University, so "we figure we have an edge on everyone else," spokesman Gustavo Paredes said.

Hmm . . . the perks of being the veep's wife? Certainly, school leaders are giddy about Biden's potential to draw attention to community colleges in general, and their campuses in particular. But more important: They actually need English instructors, they say. Montgomery has several openings for adjunct faculty in Biden's field -- a core requirement for the growing number of general-studies students, while NVCC is looking for English as a Second Language specialists for the growing number of immigrant students. "Though we've got a freeze on [non-teaching] positions, we're hiring additional faculty," Templin said.

So how do these jobs pay? At Montgomery, it's $2,700 per course, with most instructors handling one to three courses a semester.

Pizza, Etc.: Slices Of Obama Life

You already know what's on his iPod (Springsteen, Jay-Z), that he's a treadmill addict, that he's willing to try a half smoke. In our continuing quest to satisfy your desire for every bit of Obama trivia, our colleagues Anne Kornblut and Michael Shear squeezed some more personal tidbits out of the man himself during an interview yesterday on weightier subjects.

· His favorite cartoon? "SpongeBob SquarePants."

· Pizza? Yes, please: The Obama family orders in about once every other week. (Though he does hope to take Michelle out in D.C. for weekly date nights. They were spotted at Equinox last night.)

· He's already picked the musician whose song they will dance to at the inaugural balls -- but wouldn't say who.

Any predictions? Share them at Also bring us your VIP sightings around town between now and Tuesday.

Inauguration Roundup

· Guess who's not coming to dinner? On Monday, Barack Obama will host a banquet at the Hilton Washington in honor of his former rival John McCain -- one of a series of bipartisan-spirited dinners that night, with others paying tribute to Joe Biden and Colin Powell. Not on the guest list, though: Sarah Palin. Mother Jones reported yesterday that the Alaska governor will be in her home state preparing for the new legislative session. Her rep told the magazine he didn't know if she had been invited; the Obama inaugural committee declined to say.

· Conservative counter-programming: Invitations went out yesterday to a right-leaning inauguration-night party hosted by, a new conservative group blog helmed by former Bush speechwriter David Frum. The e-mail asks guests to "Celebrate/Commiserate [cuz (what) else r we gna do?]" Is that how the kids are talking these days?

* * *

"PEOTUS Obama took another 6 minute ride through Washington, arriving at 157 pm at the nondescript Soviet-style building at 15th and L Street that houses the Washington Post. Around 100 people -- Post reporters perhaps? -- awaited PEOTUS's arrival, cheering and bobbing their coffee cups."

-- Helene Cooper of the New York Times, in the "pool" report shared with other White House reporters yesterday about the president-elect's visit to our building, which really isn't that ugly. And no, those people on the sidewalk were employees from other buildings. We think.

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