The number of applicants received by Obama transition website Change.gov now exceeds 300,000. The New York Times puts that figure in perspective:

At the equivalent time in the George W. Bush transition eight years ago, with his election still in dispute, there were about 44,000 applicants, according to Clay Johnson, who led the Bush transition effort. Mr. Johnson said the final figure was about 90,000.

In 1968, President-elect Richard M. Nixon’s aides were so uncertain about the availability and willingness of people to take administration jobs that they sent more than 70,000 letters to everyone listed in Who’s Who in America, asking for names of potential federal appointees.

One perennial dynamic behind the headlines:  loyalists fearing they will be passed over for others who didn’t pay their dues on the campaign. The Democratic Strategist puts the chatter in perspective:

“To hear some of the talk in the comment threads of blogs, the best way to get a high-ranking job under Obama is to have supported Hillary Clinton in the nomination contest this year. In fact, unless I am missing something, not a single senior White House staff appointment or (rumored) Cabinet pick has gone to anyone who endorsed Clinton, aside from the possibility that Clinton herself will become Secretary of State.”

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