When Barack Obama won election to the senate back in 2004 one of the first things he did was secure a $1 million earmark for his wife's employers, who a few months later nearly trebled her salary overnight. It's the Chicago way- "Pay to play" I believe they call it.Source: Unenlightened Commentary, New York Times, Chicago Daily Observer
She didn't actually do anything that enabled the hospital to treat patients more effectively, quite the opposite in fact, she was in a diversity make-work role that involved transferring money that could have been spent on medical care to political clients.
Obama defenders were insisting that it was a very valuable job and that she was being paid for the job she did. Yet amazingly now that the position, which was previously of such importance that it merited a $300000+ salary, is no longer filled by someone whose spouse can deliver the federal largesse, it turns out that the position is no longer needed. I'm shocked I tell you!