April 9th, 2008
03:15 PM ET
13 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. Matt

    I thought his first job was a community organizer? Out working the streets in the rough Chicago heat trying to find people jobs or something like that? Now we find out he was scooping ice cream in an air conditioned facility?

    By the way, Baskin Robbins is owned by The Carlyle Group (Bush – Saudi connections). What say you now, Barack?

    April 9, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  2. Eric-PA

    He's not so poor now. Is he trying to win over the blue collar voters? Nice try, but I don't think so.

    April 9, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  3. Mike

    Patrick oh Patrick, shame on you, stating that the strongest Hillary supporters have a high school diploma or less, and are lazy slobs.

    Excuse me, though I have the title of Doctor before my name and I'm working 50-60 hours a week (performing surgery)...

    Buddy, you couldn't carry my lunch box!!!

    Go Hillary!!!!!

    April 9, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  4. Ralph

    What job? A chimpanzee for an organ grinder? Probably wasn't any good at that either. I hear Chcago needs a sewer cleaner. After he loses to Hillary, he can apply to see is he is qualified for that job. If not then he can go back to being a RAT.

    April 9, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  5. NBC

    Hey, Clinton supporters! Hillary is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get. And when you get it, you never know what's inside. Do you think she's mentally stable to run the country. We had to run for cover.... I did support Nafta, now I don't support Nafta....but everyone around me does..... please help me..I had to give 5 mil of my own money.....109 mil later suckers!. I was 4 the war...now I'm not... Habitual, if she doesn't get nominated she can go to Hollywood, She'll have 50 of the little gold men.

    April 9, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  6. ihatewhitey@obama.net

    How many lies can this man tell without being called on it??? What do you call growing up VERY well-to-do in Hawaii and the Philippines only to return and actually live in the continental US attending Columbia and Harvard Law??? As he knows about growing up in America or growing up going through the black struggle in America??? I guess when you deny public funding you can buy the White House through many LARGE bundles from the Oil Companies!! He will win so I'll say this now so i don't have to repeat myself in 2+ years...I Told You So!
    White Guilt 08'

    April 9, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  7. Thomas For Hillary

    For Patrick in Indianapolis, you just prove how ignorant you Obama supporters are. FYI, I have college degree, graduated 2006. Guess what, not all us young people are zombies in the cult for Obama like some of you.

    Hillary 2008!!!

    April 9, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  8. JO

    Hey Obama ... Baskin Robbins wants you back! At least you'll have a job after you lose in November!

    April 9, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  9. Vig

    THis guy is so self-oriented and self-focused. We have war raging in Iraq, outrage in the streets because of China's human oppressions and repressions, a disabled economy, criminalty run rampant in the cities and he's indulging himself. NOBAMA!

    April 9, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |


    GO OBAMA..........

    April 9, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  11. sonya

    Seems like Thomas for Hillary has issues, poor thing

    April 9, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  12. rose

    Myers yes some of the americans are that stupid, i would rather hear his story about the hat, then believe all the lies hilliary about her hard ship, and her dangerous trips she been on, and how stupid are people to believe that she didnt know what penn was doing, when bill supports it. She just didnt want it in the media and that is why he is still working there. Giving his ice-cream story any day

    April 9, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  13. Cynthia

    Most of you posting , unless you grew up with a silver spoon in your mouth – you have more in common with Obama. Let's get past color of his skin – PLEASE. The Hilliary supporters who will vote for McCain if Obama wins the nomination have to know that the same road that goes north, goes south. If Hilliary wins the nomination, Obama supporters may vote for McCain or just stay at home. AND THEN WE WILL ALL SUFFER!

    April 9, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  14. Ben

    Obama is cool, we can relate man. On the other hand notice how the Hillary people are still so filled with anger on these boards, folks that's what happens when you put your bet on a losing horse. Suck it up already!

    April 9, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  15. Chuck in Oregon

    Sorry, something needs to be done about social security tax, its not enought. Someone will have to pay more... better yet, why not have the fed pay back all the money they took from that account?

    April 9, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  16. Stacy Clarks,

    Gipper, St. Ann, MO:

    he IS talking about the issues--> TAXES!!! only we are paying attention while he does, I can't say that for Hillary

    Hillary supporters are NEVER happy.....first he's nto talking about the issues, then he talks about it, and you are complaining that he needs to move on>?!?!?!

    the logic of it (or illogic of it!!)

    OBAMA 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 9, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  17. Anna

    Yes, scooping ice-cream and talking with girls will really make a difference in his nomination for a President. This is the kind of experience I would like to see in a candidate! Come on CNN, you can do better than that.

    April 9, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  18. PMC

    So Obama really has some sort of experience? News to me. This is the most inexperienced candidate, and has NO business running. As he said in 2006, "I do not have enough experience to run for President." No, you don't! And that left your judgement and unity campaign. And Wright, Ayers and Meeks ended that. GO HOME, Obama. You have insulted the majority of Americans.

    April 9, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  19. Chris RS

    Obama is the best... Stay Encourage

    Obama '08

    April 9, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  20. mep

    I'd much rather listen to Obama stories than Clinton lies...All you Obama haters, how about turning some of that wasted emotion on McCain?...You can do it, I know you can.

    April 9, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  21. Mark From Colorado

    Barack Obama is totally self made. He has been and ordinary guy that now is doing extraordinary things. He understands what it is like to work hard for next to nothing. He understands what it is like to not have any money and he has the work ethic, intelligence and humility to be a great leader.

    Can you imagine this idiot we have in the white house now ever doing an honest days work? Has Hillary Rodham ever had a real job, before or after she was sent off to Ivy league schools paid for by her affluent parents? John McCain, while his military record may be exemplary, has never had to really work for a living or worry about being laid off or his job being sent off to some foriegn country. He lives on a huge ranch paid for his wife who is worth some $100 million.

    Senator Obama is the only real guy in the bunch. Give me some one who doesn't just talk a good game. Give me someone who has played the game of life like the rest of us.

    Obama O8

    April 9, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  22. jim

    At least Obama is not a perpetual liar---
    Obama go baby..........
    Hilary and her lies make me sick

    April 9, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  23. vivacious

    Obama, you are so sweet and adorable. I prey that you win the Presidential nomination!

    April 9, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  24. Olivia Gonzales




    April 9, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  25. Hermione

    To Patrick, Indianapolis:

    Check your facts. The majority of Hillary's supporters are older, working Americans. The high school and college crowds are the Obamafanatics...those who are easily swooned and won over by pep rallies, glossy posters shouting "CHANGE," and glorified stories about Obama working a normal high school job WHILE IN HIGH SCHOOL.

    And I know this because I am in that age group. I am not, however, easily persuaded. The guy is cheesy and has no idea what he's doing. When there's some real "meat" behind all his pretty speeches, then I might listen. Unfortunately, I don't think it's possible for that to happen any time soon.

    HILLARY '08

    April 9, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
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