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

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


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. Thomas For Hillary

    How about you go back to the job, which I am so sure you were good at.

    April 9, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  2. Nanc, MN

    Please, please, please; no more cute Obama stories, it's so nauseating.

    April 9, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  3. Caryle -

    Living on the west coast you barely have time to read an article and it will be closed for posting. As an Edwards supporter who now supports Obama, I say the only Dream ticket is Obama/Edwards "08 ~ Take the public financing and we private intities, like the Repbs, will use our $$$$ for the advertising. Seat MI / FL @ 50/50 with NO SUPERDELEGATES from EITHER state. Oregon hasn't voted yet but my ORIGINAL VOTE can't be counted because the earlier states did not support my candidate. Single white women 40ish in Oregon for Obama

    April 9, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  4. HP Boston

    Oh was it pink with the baskin logo?
    I bet you looked real cute with your big ears sticking out!

    April 9, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  5. Chris

    Hillary/Penn 2016 – Goodbye Hillary

    April 9, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  6. Corey, Maryland

    This is why Obama will be such a great President. He knows what its like to be an average guy. He knows whats its like to put in a hard days work and get nothing in return. He will help our country out in so many ways!!

    Obama Richardson 08!!!!

    April 9, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  7. Mike

    Obama, you need to rethink that Baskin Robbins hat, for your chances of wearing the hat of Commander In Chief are slim.

    You might become the Democratic nominee, though you will never beat a war hero like McCain.

    I am a Senator Clinton Supporter as are many of my friends; we are all voting for McCain if you are the nominee.

    By the time McCain loops that Rev. Wright sermon over and over, his heroism will make a mockery of you.

    You know its bad, when a true Democrat will vote Republican, simply to keep you from becoming the next President.

    I can speak for 50 or so of my friends (all Professional, hardworking individuals), you simply lack the experience.

    April 9, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  8. clinton

    pimpin aint easy lol

    April 9, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  9. To Thomas, The Moron

    Do you honestly have to be such an idiot? What if people said that kind of stuff about Hillary?

    Some of you Hillary supporters are so ridiculously hypercritical, it makes me sick. Do you stand for anything other than hyperpartisanship?

    April 9, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  10. Jeff

    Yes... when I was a kid working a crappy job, my first thought about my paycheck was.. this is sooo regressive.

    get real. This is the great Obama I'm supposed to worship?

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

    I hope potential POTUS Barack Obama can lead a major change in our tax structure. I've always thought that a reasonable livable wage should be completely tax exempt, and everything beyond that number should then be taxed at the same rate. So if it is determined that $30,000 is the minimum annual wage to cover essentials, then the first $30,000 of income should not be taxed at all (except for socialist security). Dollar 30,001 on up should all be taxed at the same rate, regardless of how high the income is.

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

    I notice this person from Boston isn't exactly the most open-minded fair individual around. And he must have lots of spare time.
    He or she is always ridiculing, deriding or just plain insulting Obama for anything and everything.
    Sir or Madam – When Obama wins – please leave the country. We don't need people like you around.
    Better yet – leave now!!

    April 9, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  13. Feron

    "Hillary/Penn 2016 – Goodbye Hillary"

    Haha! Priceless.

    April 9, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  14. Jenny from IN


    April 9, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  15. kathleen

    Obama, now you don't have to tell us how poor you were.
    because you have already won.You are winning the hearts
    and minds of Middle America!!!!!!
    Please don't talk anything like Hillary and Bill!!! Please!!!!
    And keep your promises to the American people.
    Get tight security and make sure the Secret
    Service guard you well because we don't want to lose a
    good man such as yourself. You know how the government
    can be. We will welcome in your Presidency but, and I am
    not kidding, watch out for the bad political a–hol-s. I am serious.
    We loved John Kennedy and you will be the best thing Americans
    have and they always take that away from us. When most of
    America is happy, there are some who are not. They take the
    good ones away from us and we CANNOT let that happen!!!!
    Be Careful.

    April 9, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  16. AJ

    and that's where he belongs – scooping ice cream!

    April 9, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  17. Judy

    31 flavors...let's talk about equality in Baskin Robins...I'm sure some ice cream is favored more than others. LET'S STAND UP FOR ICE CREAM EQUALITY AND FOCUS ON RACISM AMOUNG THE FROZEN DAIRY PRODUCTS!!!

    April 9, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  18. Angel

    Thomas your a fool

    Obama 08 "enough said"

    April 9, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  19. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    Also being from humble beginnings, my admiration of Barack only grows and grows.

    April 9, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  20. Stand for Something... or Fall for Clinton!!!

    Well... some people wouldn't dare work – too much to do at the summer cottage.

    April 9, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  21. Gipper, St. Ann, MO

    If having a hard time getting dates as a teenager qualifies you to be president, look out 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Here I come! Why is this a story???

    April 9, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  22. Joyce in Florida

    Please no more cutsie Obama stories when he was a working teen. I just finished a late lunch. There is no comparison to what taxes were then as they are now. This is news? Give me a break. Time for Obama to go work at something he is really good at; that is definitely not campaigning for the presidency. GO HILLARY 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 9, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  23. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    Give me a break. The people in the funny hats usually don't even have to pay taxes–and if they have enough kids–the EITC gives them back more money than they actually paid out in taxes.

    Mr. Obama–where in the hell do you think the money to pay people more than they paid in taxes comes from? What a nuncio–are the American people really that stupid?

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

    At least it was an honest job, which I doubt very much Hillary would know anything about!!!!!

    April 9, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  25. Dems2008

    I can relate!!

    GO OBAMA 2008!!

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