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. Tiffany

    It is astounding how many racist comments are being left here by Hillary supporters, but I guess that really shouldn't surprise me at all.

    He is a great man, who will stand for the people and not corportations. Those who say he is all words need to look a little further, this man has already done SO much for this country.

    Please, please stop being so divisive.

    April 9, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  2. Jed Rothwell

    Praetorian wrote:

    "Give me a break. The people in the funny hats usually don't even have to pay taxes . . ."

    They sure do pay taxes. They pay FICA (Social Security) taxes from the first dollar up.

    Plenty of working poor people pay more taxes than the Wall Street moguls who earn hundreds of millions of dollars and pay 15% (capital gains only). Everyone in Washington knows that our tax system is regressive, and a burden on the poor. Obama is the only one with the guts to do anything about it.

    April 9, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  3. Michael

    Clinton is now 10 points behind in the latest gallup pole.

    April 9, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  4. Cathy

    Patrick i take pfense at your commets.For 20 years i worked for 16 hours a day every day no days off and i support HILLARY.I have plenty of money now,and i dont expect anything from the government.

    April 9, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  5. 8BALL



    April 9, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  6. Mark M Kansas City

    I cannot say enough how proud I am to see some of the women on here stand up and reject the negative, pathetic platform the Hillary is running. Her "I am going to scare the crap out of you" so you vote for me because "I am more prepared" fear mongering isn't working. SOME OF YOU HILLARY SUPPORTERS THINK THAT IF YOU TYPE IN ALL CAP then it will somehow make us listen to your drivel. You are already disqualified from intelligent dialogue for your refusal to acknowledge the severe number of faults YOUR candidate has and isntead can only 'claim' that the media is candy coating everything for Obama. I personally would like to thank Mr. Obama, if for no other reason then giving me a reason for hope for this great country of ours, even if it is only for a short while. Thank you Mr. Obama!

    Obama or Prez

    April 9, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  7. Jason M.

    Can you Hillary supporters seriously imagine what the smoking ruins of a country a Clinton administration would result in? Her campaign is a complete disaster! Despite having years to prepare and get everything in place we've seen nothing but one instance of mismanagement, bad judgement, and outright dishonesty after the next.

    Do you really want to put your life, the lives and economic well-being of your family, friends, and loved ones in Hillary's hands?

    I didn't think so.

    April 9, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  8. Kevin, Louisville, Ky

    I just feel sorry for Hillary's supporters !!

    No other comment.

    Btw I will take Britney Spears over Hillary any day...Britney may be a totally of her rocker but she aint a Liar!!

    April 9, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |

    I notice the Obama Haters are getting louder the better he does, maybe you should so something else with your time- Like get an education.

    Why do you think that those of us who actually went to school (beyond the 12th grade-if you even made it that far) support him, because we think for ourselves, and have fully functioning brains.

    CNN- please post this so the stupid people can either do something to be less stupid, or for everyone else's sake at least not breed.

    April 9, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  10. Bit, Alabama

    What, he can't make a funny? At least he is telling the truth!

    April 9, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |

    God bless obama

    April 9, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  12. Herb (Landenberg, PA)

    Boy oh boy, the Clinton sock puppets are really festering here today! What is it with you Clinton butt-kissers anyway? Well, April 22nd sure can't come soon enough so PA residents can vote her out of this state and hopefully, out of this campaign. I am so sick of seeing her lying face on television every day and listening to her shrill, chalkboard screech of a voice. The Clintons are liars and users, plain and simple. I've been a Democrat all of my adult life. But I've never liked either of the Clintons, I never trusted the Clintons, I never voted for Bill Clinton and I'll never vote for Hillary, the pathological political liar! Now, here come the witch queen trying to bring all of the Clinton mess back into the White House. Hit the road Hill, and take red-faced Bill with you!

    Finally, for the Clinton sock puppets: You all better hope Hillary wins the Democratic nomination...not that she will! Because of the way she's behaved in her campaign, she will likely not be re-elected as a senator in New York. She's made her bed and her political enemies. She'll have to lie in the filth she's created for herself later. Good riddance Hillary!

    Obama 08'

    April 9, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  13. Chuck

    Now here is some true journalism. LOL

    April 9, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  14. Frank

    How pathetic! I have never been so revolted by a political candidate! He is now starting to sound as stupid as Bush!!!!

    April 9, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  15. sTOp HaTiNg

    --Hillary Supporters are really hating- don't be mad at Obama- Hillary is the one messing up.-

    April 9, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  16. Ben

    I cannot believe that people are so mean-spirited and cynical that Senator Obama recalling his Baskin Robbins experience would cause such a caustic reaction. Ironically, I'm going to quote Bill Clinton and say "would everyone please chill!!!!!".

    OBAMA 08

    April 9, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  17. Lee WV

    I remember when gas was 33 cents a gallon and I wore the funny Texaco uniform making 1.00 per hour.These jobs build character.He is the kind of change America needs!!!

    April 9, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  18. Jen B.

    Something else I like about Obama, his self-deprecating humor.
    Hillary's attempts at humor are so contrived and usually fall flat.
    On any level, Obama wins hands down!

    April 9, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  19. Sinbad

    Nice staments Hillary fans. It sucks knowing she has lost doesn't it.

    April 9, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  20. tiredofthecrap

    Mike April 9th, 2008 4:02 pm ET
    \"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."

    Sorry Mike, but then you aren't a TRUE Democrat. And if the republicans have to win by hanging Rev. Wright on him and not just by touting their own experience and views then sucks to be them. Maybe McCain can fill his cabent with the other members of the Keating 5.

    April 9, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  21. Seth

    Any Democrat that votes for McCain was never a Democrat to begin with. And if they are doing it out of spite, they are the worst kind of American – someone who would do something they know in their hearts is bad for the country.

    April 9, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  22. Josh

    Have you noticed that the Obamaniacs are no longer asking for Hillary’s tax returns? Now that she posted them for public viewing now they are fixated on the Mark Penn thing. They better ask their candidate for his IL state senate records. There is so much dirt on them that they got burned long ago.

    April 9, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  23. MD

    It's good to see Obama back in the news again.

    Clinton's nauseating pictures and remarks had dominated the news for the past few days, and I was beginning to think that CNN is changing horses in mid-stream (supporting Clinton instead of Obama).

    Anyway, this campaign has gone on too long. You can tell both candidates are reaching.

    If only Clintons would wake up tomorrow and see the light...

    April 9, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  24. Trev

    Wow, now that was news. Any chance to make Obama look likeable. Tomorrows top storry: Obama pets cute puppy...

    April 9, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  25. David in Illinois

    The only way Billary supporters can tear down Obama is through lies, insults and ridicule. Drug dealing????? Come on!
    Stick to FACTS please: And the FACT is that Hillary has been impartially judged to be a "serial liar" and a "congenital liar." LIAR. That's all the voters need to know since that makes pretty much everything she says on the campaign trail totally untrustworthy. LIAR is also another word for FLIP-FLOPPER. First she was for NAFTA, then she was against it. She was for driver's licenses for illegals, then she was against them. She landed in Bosnia under sniper fire, then it was all a big mistake. The list goes on.... UGH!!
    I hope the voters wisen up to her deception. The Democratic Party's future is at stake here, and she's single-handedly destroying it .

    April 9, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
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