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. Robin

    Love it or hate it, Obama will win...Hard ways pays off...

    April 9, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  2. Mike

    Just think Obama you went from $100 a week salary to spending $60 million on ads. You have come far.

    April 9, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  3. Joseph - MO

    Obama is never presidential sounding.

    April 9, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  4. Wise Dem.

    Who else is a perfect embodyment of the American Dream but OBAMA

    Born of an immigrant dad from Africa

    Raised by a hard working grand mom

    Against all odds, went to school and did well

    Return as Community Organizer

    State Legislator

    Constitutinal Lawyer

    That is the American Dream

    Obama represents the future of my kids, my family and America

    OBAMA 08

    April 9, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  5. Jacob Fairchild

    Wow... CNN This is getting really bad. Why don't you listen to the man you so strongly support (Obama) and quit with the slanted presentation of your written news media to boost only one candidate. You have Cafferty asking everyday how horrible do you think Hillary Clinton is? You constantly keep the ticker title on the home page on the daily bashing of Hillary. For ONCE can you represent some kind of dignity and equality that Obama speaks of? Why would you write about his story of his first job and not on Hillary's story she told monday on Ellen about her personal experiences with the LGBT community?

    Then again, why am I asking questions that won't be answered?

    April 9, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  6. David

    Obama is clearly going to be the next President, and I can't wait to throw that in the faces of all the racists who get on here stating that they are "Hillary" supporters but will vote for McCain if Obama is the nominee. It's amazing to me that the right-wing "moral" group will resort to such lies. I hope that this is finally the point that this country moves past the right wing hypocrisy.

    April 9, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  7. janis

    Just because he scooped up ice cream does not mean he will be a good president. Do we really want a president that has an admitted past cocaine addiction, goes to a church filled with racism and hate, and has very questionable ties to some criminals? I just don't think that makes him a good candidate. P.S.–Do you want the white house to be filled with cigarette smoke? (Obama hides the fact that he smokes.)

    April 9, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  8. Mike

    Food For Thought, speaking of education, check your grammar why don't you?

    PLEASE stop calling Hillary Supporters stupid, we are not the ones floating around in outerspace.

    Stop treating Obama like the teflon prince.

    He is an "empty suit."

    April 9, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  9. George from Minneapolis

    I can relate. One reason he is the superior candidate. He is a normal person, not scripted like Hillary and McCain. Do they ever say anything that someone else has not written for them to say ??

    April 9, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  10. mary

    I wonder how many scholarships him and Michelle got for going to those IVY league schools? Does anyone know??

    April 9, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  11. AZ Rep

    How heart warming. He didn't pick cotton? I did and I am a lawyer too. But contrary to Obama I believe in work and went Republican right out of college. I was offered a chance to run for congress as a Democrat in Az, since that's all we have in So. AZ, but I didn't want to go throught the surgery.

    What Surgery? The one that removes your spinal cord.

    April 9, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  12. Ric

    Wow, reading through all of these negative and sarcastic "comments" from Clinton and McCain (is there a difference?) supporters just solidifies my opinion why there are so many problems in this country. Give it rest already. You make this time of year unbearable.

    April 9, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  13. Cryston, St. Louis

    CNN, Please post this comment. Why in the world would you report this one insignificant story? He said so much more in policy and issues over the last 2 days, and the only story that you could run on him was about him selling ice cream? Of course your readers will look at him as silly and non-substantive if that's what you paint of him. We're watching you CNN, please give us cold hard issues.

    April 9, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  14. debra

    I was a car hop for 50cents an hour. I have worked as a beautician, gone to college for Nursing. Worked in factories and hospitals, and printing companies. I worked as a waitress ,telemarketer, and for a cable company. I also worked for a cleaning company as a janitor. It doesn't mean I am better qualified for anything. I just had to suck it up and do my job, earn my paycheck and try and pay for 120,000.00 in student loans , survive a bankrupcy and having children. With all my experience, I still know that Hillary Clinton is the best choice for president. .

    April 9, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  15. Concerned Voter

    Is Obama kidding ? How many get to go to the schools he did and make the money he and his wife do. The Clintons became rich after they left the White House. This is not news and it disgusts me that this makes headlines.

    Will you post this CNN ?

    April 9, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  16. Larry. San Diego, Ca

    Typical lazy person. Always mimics Hillary. Can he come up with something original for a change?

    April 9, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  17. maya

    Ah gee, thanks CNN for the feel good story about Obama.

    Almost makes me forget that he is a weak candidate with zero experience or accomplishments.

    Let's see- Hillary makes a statement- timely -about the Olympics and human rights- and Obama talks about his funny hat...ah dear..

    April 9, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  18. Peter Damoah-Afari

    Obama will win outright. ....................How can a man who is almost going to his grave compete with Obama? Hillary cannot compete either unless she gets an endorsement from Lewinsky

    April 9, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  19. To Mike

    We all Know people like you would never vote for a person 'like' Obama.Good luck with you 17 th Century thinking!!!

    April 9, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  20. nadeem

    Well Hillary, in her first job had an ugly green hat, and they took even more money from her check, and, and she tried to talk to guys and they would not talk to her, and then there was sniper fire and and...

    April 9, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  21. Wha!!

    This is a respone to Mike...

    Mike the last time I check there are over 300 million American...so sure.. go vote for Mcsane (Mcain).
    Cut off your nose to spite your face...you and your 50 friends.

    April 9, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  22. Susan

    Is he implying that scooping ice cream at Baskin Robbins is tough work? A lot of young kids dig ditches, haul bricks on construction sites, mow lawns in the heat. Poor Barack just doesn't get it.

    April 9, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  23. Eric in Ca

    Mike and the Like... stop using the argument that you will vote McCain if Obama is the nominee as though you're holding the rest of us Democrats and Obama supporters hostage by your lack of substance.

    Vote & Support Obama as you would if Hillary were the nominee, BECAUSE I'm sure ... you'd EXPECT the same from Obama supporters.

    Funny thing about this lack of experience tag you hang on Obama, Bill Clinton had no experience / no Washington clout or political Washington will... but I many voted for him! And yes, Obama has experience! Yet, being the wife of a former president qualifies as experience!

    If Hilliary received the nomination I'd vote for her despite her lies.

    April 9, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  24. mayahh

    ralph you, show your true color, hatred, and unseen. I can find you a trap.

    April 9, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  25. Amy

    Sure, another cheap shot to get voters' sympathy.. This guy has no sense of hard work, all he knows is to tell 'funny' stories. And media plays his game. He is wasting the Democrat ticket.

    April 9, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
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