April 9th, 2008
03:15 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama recounts first job—and the funny hat that went with it

CNN

Watch Obama discuss his first job.

MALVERN, Pennsylvania (CNN) – It's tough wooing women when you're wearing a brown cap and standing behind an ice cream counter, according to Barack Obama

He's speaking from experience. At a town hall in Malvern, Pennsylvania Wednesday the Illinois senator answered a question on Social Security by discussing the payroll tax, which led him to the topic of his first job.

"I was working at Baskin Robbins scooping out ice cream," Obama said. "And it was actually kind of embarrassing because you had to wear like the brown cap and stuff and the apron."

"Girls would come in. You'd be trying to talk to them. They wouldn't give you the time of day because you were in this cap."

"I was making… maybe a hundred dollars a week or something and they were still taking all this money out. I thought, man, that's the payroll tax. So it's already regressive. I don't want to raise the income tax on people who are not making a lot of money already."


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (183 Responses)
  1. trellskig

    hahaha...I like that Obama/Richards ticket! Black/Hispanic?

    People will go nuts and he may as well hang it up...LOL

    April 9, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  2. dave

    Has there even been another presidential candidate in recent history who wasn't born into money?

    April 9, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  3. John Smith

    Let us ask Gore, who served as VP for Bill whether Hillary has a different attitude than Bill. Hillary was Bill's VP; now they plan to switch roles with no one willing to accept RESPONSIBILITY. Who owns the $109million, Bill, Hillary or Both? But, we are asking Obama to take responsibility for his pastor's statements!! We really need to do some growing up in this nation!!

    April 9, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  4. Mike

    He had such a rough life growing up in Hawaii and going to an Ivy League School...

    Corey, Maryland

    I remember working at McDonalds... does that make me an average guy??? Hard days work scooping ice cream??? I think all of us had those experiences as kids... give me a break!!!

    April 9, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  5. April Garlow

    I would like to know what upscale mall that Baskin Robbins was in. They don't have those in the poor part of town. It's kind of like an espresso bar for ice cream. They aren't found in the hood. Trying to appear like a common man, makes him just seem that much more out of touch. Did he help pay for his families rent or food with that money or was it fun money? Obama really thinks we're stupid, doesn't he.

    April 9, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  6. Ross in MD

    Obama knows what the average American goes through.

    Unlike McCain or Clinton, he didn't marry into wealth.

    April 9, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  7. wyoming dem

    At least he tells true stories about his past!

    April 9, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  8. Patrick, Indianapolis

    Jealous Thomas? Do you realize that you're not intelligent enough for even that job? I find it funny that Hillary's strongest supporters are people with a high school diploma or less. That makes sense because these people are lazy slobs who want Hillary to do everything for them. Thomas, you fit right in with this group.

    April 9, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  9. Ron, TX

    Obama knows what it's like to not have anything. His mother was an anthropologist... for those that don't know, anthropologists basically do not make money. He went to work at Baskin Robbins when he had to get a job, unlike Cheslea Clinton, who scored a sweet spot at a hedge fund making six figures.

    April 9, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  10. Donj, NJ

    I remember working at a White Castle restaurant, 2 blocks from my High School. It was hard talking to the girls in school after they saw me behind the grill. I can totally relate.

    Obama '08

    April 9, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  11. Jan

    He should go back to that job, I wonder how long he worked there?
    He probable left after one pay check.

    Hillary 08

    April 9, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  12. Claudia

    I bet Obama gave people a bigger scoop of ice cream than what it cost, he seems to be that kinda fella and I bet he looked cute in his brown hat.

    April 9, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  13. Nick in CA

    So we are going from the cheerleading president to the icecream scooper president? God help us.

    April 9, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  14. Lifelong Democrat

    PLEASE DONT LET THIS BE OUR PRESIDENT!!!

    HILLARY-MCCAIN '08

    We need someone to lead not take pictures and give speeches!!!

    NOBAMA !!!
    NOBABA!!!
    NOBAMA!!!
    NOBAMA !!!

    April 9, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  15. st louis typicl whte male

    So, is this before your drug use and dealing?

    April 9, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  16. txpoodoo

    I've heard him say his story can only be told in a place called America.

    Humble beginnings (read: not a silver spoon), work through school, work his butt off to get into college, fight hard for jobs after college, work his way up to State Senator, then U.S. Senator. Run for President.

    Oh by the way, doing it all as mixed race kid (which was looking very down upon in the past).

    If that is not an American story, than I don't know what is.

    April 9, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  17. Amy

    I'm liking him more and more

    April 9, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  18. Cindy

    To those of you Hillary supporters, in case you don't understand the purpose of Obama telling this story, he's attempting to explain to people that he knows what its like to be an average worker in this country! UNLIKE HILLARY WITH HER STORIES WHERE SHE NEEDS TO USE STORIES THAT ARE "TOLD" TO HER BY AVERAGE PEOPLE. And even then, she exxagerates the truth like she did with the woman who lost her baby and then died as a result of a hospital refusing to take care of her because she didn't have insurance!!!!--SHAME, SHAME, SHAME ON YOU HILLARY!

    April 9, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  19. TR

    He WILL be our next president!!!

    April 9, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  20. W. Cares

    Oops.. Now all Baskin Robins workers are going to join USPS guys... Poor Hillary.

    April 9, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  21. DC Insider

    He should return to that first job. In DC he is "road kill" for the Dems and the Republicans

    April 9, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  22. An American in Canada

    DO YOU SEE THAT OBAMA IS STILL FOLLOWING HILLARY

    SHE HAD A STORY OF WHEN SHE WAS YOUNG AND EVERYONE RESPONDED TO HOW CUTE AND READY SHE WAS EVEN AS A YOUNG CHILD FOR HER DESTING...

    AND NOW OBAMA, THE MAN WITH NO IDEAS, NO SOLUTIONS THE MAN WITH ONLY YES, I CAN

    YES I CAN FOLLOW AND COPY ANYTHING HILLARY DOES.

    OBAMA YOU MAKE ME WANT TO THROW UP WITHOUT EVENING HAVING TO PUT MY FINGER DOWN MY THROAT.. :)

    April 9, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  23. sheanne

    Yeah, and from that Baskin & Robins job he became a lawyer representing shady deals. Guess that make him a qualified leader.

    April 9, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  24. CHERYL

    THAT IS PROBABLY WHAT HE WILL DO WHEN HE LOSES!

    HE COULDN'T EVEN SPEAK YESTERDAY WITHOUT SCREWING UP!!!

    HIM AND McCAIN!!

    IF YOU WANT SOMEONE WHO IS READY ON DAY ONE AND BEYOND PICK HILLARY!!!

    SHE IS ARTICULATE AND EXPERIENCED AND SHES NO WIMP EITHER!!!

    OBAMA IS A SCANDAL WAITING TO HAPPEN!!!!!

    HIS LIES AND VOTE BLOCKING AMONG OTHER THINGS WILL COST HIM THIS ELECTION!!!!

    I WANT THE BEST PERSON FOR THE JOB!!!!

    THAT IS SENATOR HILLARY CLINTON!!!!!!

    GO HILLARY WE SUPPORT YOU!

    April 9, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  25. BK

    I don't believe anything he says. He lies and the media never checks out his lies. CNN why don't you do a fact check on Obama and let the people know what he really is. Then you need to put it in the headlines like you do the Clintons.

    April 9, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
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