The right wing likes to characterize the President’s resume as consisting of nothing more than his work as a “community organizer.” It is used as an insult, as a suggestion that he’s never done anything that wasn’t “socialist” in nature.
From President Obama’s resumé: The President graduated from Columbia in 1983, worked for a year for Business International Corporation, then the New York Public Interest Research Group. In 1985, he was hired as director of the Developing Communities Project (where he set up a job training program, college prep tutoring program and tenants’ rights organization) a position he held until enrolling in Harvard Law School in 1988. During his law school summers, he worked at the law firm of Sidley Austin in 1989 and Hopkins & Sutter in 1990. He graduated magna cum laude in 1991, having served as the first African American president of the Harvard Law Review.
In 1992, Barack Obama became a member of the faculty at the University of Chicago Law School as a Lecturer in Constitutional Law until 1996, then as a Senior Lecturer until 2004. While lecturing at UofC, he was the director of Illinois’ Project Vote, with ten staffers and 700 volunteers who registered 150,000 African American voters. He was an associate in Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, a civil rights law firm from 1993 to 1996, and then was a non-associate counsel for the firm until 2004. He also served on the boards of directors of the Woods Fund of Chicago (1994-2002) and the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (1995-2002).
In 1996, Barack Obama was elected to the Illinois State Senate, where he served until 2004.
To summarize: Barack Obama worked at a variety of jobs including community organizations during and between college and law school, and spent 12 years teaching constitutional law while simultaneously practicing law and serving in the Illinois State Senate.
As we all know by now, the President’s mother had two foreign born husbands, he has a half-sister, and for most of his life he was raised by his grandparents while his mother pursued her career abroad.
Here’s what Republican House Speaker John Boehner had to say about the President’s resumé in an interview on Fox Radio’s Kilmeade and Friends on Thursday, from the interview’s transcript:
“But the President has never created a job. He’s never even had a real job for God’s sake. And I can tell you from my dealing with him, he has no idea how the real world, that we actually live in, works.”
Got all that? Teaching is not a “real job”? Practicing law is not a “real job”?
Now, John Boehner came from true blue collar roots. He was the first person in his family to graduate from college and worked his way through on his own over the course of seven years. He worked his way up from a salesman to president of a sales company in the plastics and packaging industry. The rest of his 11 siblings have remained in the blue collar workforce. So maybe his base for comparison for what constitutes a “real job” involves factories and sales. If that is so, it is the worst kind of reverse snobbery and totally incompatible with someone whose party is deeply dedicated to doing everything possible to screw the blue collar worker, smear and destroy unions, and create a government bought and paid for by billionaires.
Teaching is not a “real job”? Okay, being a college lecturer isn’t exactly the same kind of teaching as trying to survive a day in middle school or juggling five primary reading groups in one morning. But still, the last time I looked (and I’ve had a kid in college or grad school since Clinton was in office), there were class preparations, test to give, papers to grade. And, like far too many of our college instructors, President Obama’s was a part-time position with practicing law and being a legislator on the side. He also managed to write a best-selling book during this period.
I fully appreciate where John Boehner came from, but he spent 13 years selling plastics and packaging and the past 22 years in Congress. Which part of that was a “real job” and which part has been spent “…in the real world, that we actually live in…”?