So I was surfing the internets on a Friday night and I see this:
President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama agree that they would like their daughters to have some experience in minimum wage jobs.
“Oh yeah,” the first lady said when asked whether she would like her daughters to work in minimum wage jobs. “I think every kid needs to get a taste of what it’s like to do that real hard work.”
Yeah, like that’s gonna happen. I hear there is an opening at NBC for a First Kid now that Chelsea Clinton is going on maternity leave.
Seriously though, nobody expects two privileged young women like Sasha and Malia Obama to ever work for minimum wage. If they did it would be very brief and just for show.
But wait! There’s more!
Michelle Obama also discussed equal pay for women, saying that while she was working at the University of Chicago, she did not receive fair pay. “Essentially, I just got paid less,” she said, adding that women need also to take it upon themselves to “negotiate for ourselves.”
I was so shocked I had to stop and double check just to be sure. I thought maybe old age was catching up to me and my memory was going soggy. But no, I remembered correctly after all. Let’s start with her official White House bio:
A product of Chicago public schools, Mrs. Obama studied sociology and African-American studies at Princeton University. After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1988, she joined the Chicago law firm Sidley & Austin, where she later met the man who would become the love of her life.
After a few years, Mrs. Obama decided her true calling was working with people to serve their communities and their neighbors. She served as assistant commissioner of planning and development in Chicago’s City Hall before becoming the founding executive director of the Chicago chapter of Public Allies, an AmeriCorps program that prepares youth for public service.
In 1996, Mrs. Obama joined the University of Chicago with a vision of bringing campus and community together. As Associate Dean of Student Services, she developed the university’s first community service program, and under her leadership as Vice President of Community and External Affairs for the University of Chicago Medical Center, volunteerism skyrocketed.
Sidley and Austin is a politically connected corporate law firm with offices in 19 cities around the globe, including Chicago. They don’t exactly do Legal Aid Society pro bono work for the poor. From there Michelle went to a government job. Anybody who knows anything about Chicago knows that you gotta be politically connected to get a job a city hall. So guess who “recruited” Michelle Obama away from Sidley and Austin?
Americorps is government grant money. That’s right, she was feeding off the public teat. She didn’t stay there very long because in 1996 she started working at the University of Chicago. Barack was already teaching at the U of C law school, but coincidentally just about the time Michelle was hired to work there Barack won his first election and became a state senator.
Now let’s try FactCheck.Org:
On Jan. 9, 2009, the University of Chicago Medical Center officially announced that Michelle Obama had resigned from her post as vice president for community and external affairs to join her husband, then-President-elect Barack Obama, in the White House as the new first lady of the United States.
Michelle Obama had been promoted in 2005 to vice president for community and external affairs after three years as the executive director for community affairs. It’s true, as the e-mail (and National Review column) says, that she received a sizable pay raise that year. She went from earning $121,910 in 2004 as an executive director at the hospital to making $316,962 in 2005 as a vice president, according to tax returns filed by the Obamas for those years. But the suggestion made by the email’s author – and not made by the National Review – that she was being paid more than $300,000 for a “20 hour a week job” is not true.
University of Chicago Medical Center spokesman John Easton said Mrs. Obama didn’t reduce her work schedule from full time to part time until 2007 when it became clear that her husband would run for president. “As she reduced her hours, beginning early in 2007, her salary decreased proportionately,” Easton told us in an e-mail. “She switched to half time shortly before her husband formally announced his campaign, then to 20% later that year and to 0% in 2008.”
I’m not exactly sure what a “Associate Dean of Student Services” does, but my impression of institutions of higher learning is that those kinds of jobs pay pretty well. Certainly well above minimum wage. After all, this wasn’t a small community college in Bumphuck Montana, this was the University of Chicago!
We know that she moved over to the U of C Medical Center in 2002, which is coincidentally the year that Barack first ran for the U.S. Congress, unsuccessfully challenging Bobby Rush in the primary. The first time we are told about her income was for 2004 when she made $121,910 as the “executive director for community affairs.”
In 2004 Barack was elected to the U.S. Senate. In 2005 Michelle was promoted to “vice president for community and external affairs” and received a modest salary bump up to $316,962 a year. I’m sure that was purely coincidental. They actually created that position for Michelle. Coincidentally, when she stopped working there in 2007 they eliminated the position.
I’ll let you speculate as to exactly what she did to earn that money. I will note that one of Barack’s first earmark requests as a senator was for $1 million to build a new hospital pavilion at the University of Chicago Medical Center. I’m sure it was just a coincidence.
I sure wish I could be poor and oppressed like the Mooch and Barry.