Truck Month Best Books of the Month Amazon Fashion Learn more Discover it A. Sinclair Father's Day Gift Guide 2016 Fire TV Stick Father's Day Gifts The Baby Store Shop now Amazon Cash Back Offer LoveandFriendship LoveandFriendship LoveandFriendship  Amazon Echo  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Amazon Echo Introducing new colors All-New Kindle Oasis Outdoor Recreation
Customer Discussions > Politics forum

Obama saw corporate job as working for the enemy

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-25 of 33 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 23, 2012 3:46:55 AM PDT
Mitt Romney's main argument for his presidential candidacy is that if voters want a leader who can fix the economy, they should elect someone who knows and understands -- and likes -- business.

Barack Obama, Romney says at every opportunity, is not that man. "The president has the most anti-business, anti-investment, anti-jobs administration I think I've ever seen," Romney said last week on Fox News. "Some of these liberals say they like a strong economy, but then they act like they don't like business," Romney added during a recent campaign stop in Colorado.

Both sides can debate the administration's policies for the rest of the campaign. But there's no doubt there is a profoundly anti-business streak in the president's background.

New evidence comes in the just-released biography "Barack Obama: The Story," by David Maraniss. Obama spent very little time in business, but he did have a job at a company called Business International for about a year after he graduated from Columbia University in 1983. The book contains new details about the future president's brief stint in corporate America.

Obama was a low-level editor in Reference Services, working on reports describing economic conditions in various foreign countries. By all accounts, he disliked the work, not just because it was pedestrian and boring, but because it was in business.

"He calls it working for the enemy," Obama's mother, Ann, wrote after a phone conversation with her son, "because some of the reports are written for commercial firms that want to invest in [Third World] countries."

Writing to a former girlfriend, Maraniss says, Obama also "expressed a distaste for the corporate world." And in his engaging but unreliable memoir "Dreams from My Father," Obama described his time at Business International this way: "Like a spy behind enemy lines, I arrived every day at my mid-Manhattan office. ..." Obama wrote that he took the job only after his applications to several civil rights organizations were ignored.

Obama subsequently quit Business International, became a community organizer, attended law school, briefly practiced public interest law, taught a college class and got into politics. He had several jobs, but never again in business.

Yet as Obama told it in "Dreams from My Father," he sometimes felt tempted to sell out during his time at Business International. After getting a promotion, Obama wrote, "I had my own office, my own secretary, money in the bank. Sometimes, coming out of an interview with Japanese financiers or German bond traders, I would catch my reflection in the elevator doors -- see myself in a suit and tie, a briefcase in hand -- and for a split second I would imagine myself as a captain of industry, barking out orders, closing the deal, before I remembered who it was that I had told myself I wanted to be and felt pangs of guilt for my lack of resolve."

Maraniss discovered most of that wasn't true; while Obama did have a tiny office, he didn't have his own secretary, didn't meet with financiers and bond traders, didn't even wear a suit to work. But the one true thing in that passage is Obama's antipathy for the business world.

And Barack isn't the only Obama who feels that way. Over the last few years, Michelle Obama has often described their mutual distaste for business. As she tells it, as newly minted graduates of prestigious law schools, both she and her spouse could have cashed in with high-paying jobs at wealthy corporations. It was enticing, but they chose another course.

"We left corporate America, which is a lot of what we're asking young people to do," Mrs. Obama said at a campaign stop in Ohio in February 2008. "Don't go into corporate America. You know, become teachers. Work for the community. Be social workers. Be a nurse. Those are the careers that we need. ..."

The first lady still says that sort of thing. In a commencement speech at Oregon State University last week, she described how she once had a "corporate" job with "all the traditional markers of success: the fat paycheck, the fancy office," but it left her unfulfilled. So she fled the business world -- as did her husband -- and she now urges others to leave as well.

It's a way of viewing business, and life, that could not be more different from Mitt Romney's, whose father actually was a captain of industry, and who grew up to be one, too. When it comes to business, it's hard to imagine a clearer choice between candidates.

Posted on Jun 23, 2012 8:01:22 AM PDT
"......there's no doubt there is a profoundly anti-business streak in the president's background."

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2012 9:06:40 AM PDT
freedom4all says:
Seems to be militant anti-market.

Posted on Jun 23, 2012 10:26:27 AM PDT
C. Batty says:
The problem is that the President should work for the people. Corporations aren't people.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2012 10:35:23 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 23, 2012 10:36:17 AM PDT
freedom4all says:
C. Batty says: Corporations aren't people.

f4a: Stockholders are not people? Maybe they are zombies or the un-death? How about evil spirits from another dimension?

Are governments people?

Posted on Jun 23, 2012 11:50:23 AM PDT
C. Batty says:
Stockholders are poeple, but corporations aren't. And the person who owns 300.00 in shares deserves as much government as the person who owns 5 billion.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2012 11:51:16 AM PDT
unions aren't people either , then

but this doofus gave away the Treasury to union thugs

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2012 11:53:25 AM PDT
C. Batty says:
Unions represent people.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2012 11:59:56 AM PDT
So do corporations, those people who CHOSE to own stock in the corporations. Many union members are FORCED to join the union, being forced to do something isn't eaxctly what the founding fathers believed in.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2012 12:06:11 PM PDT
richard-- thank you for an excellent post. how one can say a group of people is not people but unions are people are not people but corporations are people but not people........

it's enough to drive one batty!

Posted on Jun 23, 2012 12:11:02 PM PDT
Mark Time says:
I don't think the founders believed in corporate control of the government either.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2012 12:13:04 PM PDT

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2012 12:14:40 PM PDT
I agree, since FDR's power grab this country doesn't even come close to what the founding fathers envisioned as a free society. The government controls us all, we are just arguing over who controls the government.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2012 3:09:54 PM PDT
C. Batty says:
Actually most people who own stock in American are forced to do so by their 401Ks and get no say in what stock is purchased in their name, nor any say in what the company does with their money.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2012 3:11:19 PM PDT
What? Are you sure? I'm in a 401K and I can choose the stock I buy with it.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2012 3:13:14 PM PDT
C. Batty says:
This government is, yes.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2012 3:27:20 PM PDT
Axiomatic!!! says:
Mine started out with only being able to choose the plan(s).

After I had enough $$$ in it (I forget the dollar amount), I was able to choose individual stocks. But the amount of individual stocks as a percentage of my account is still limited.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2012 3:31:16 PM PDT
I can choose between different mutual funds, but there are so many different types of choices that I would never say I have "no say." Maybe someday I'll have enough money to choose individual stocks too!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2012 5:14:51 PM PDT
C. Batty says:
So basically, you can choose between the mutal funds your company choose to promote. And hope that the bank isn't betting against it.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2012 6:46:09 PM PDT
freedom4all says:
Richard M. Smith says:
So do corporations,

f4a: Batty cannot understand that.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2012 6:48:44 PM PDT
freedom4all says:
401K choice or SS tax choice. One can change jobs, but still has to pay SS tax. You just hate anyone making a profit. You rather use some form of aggressive force on others.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2012 6:49:53 PM PDT
freedom4all says:
Wrong answer. Demons from another dimension would be closer to the truth.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2012 7:16:09 PM PDT
Happy Geezer says:
If you hate this government why do you work for them and hurt the taxpayers every time you pay your rent? We will love it when you no longer are a drain and are totally dependent on us taxpayers. Support yourself for a change. Stop being a rent seeker.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2012 7:17:17 PM PDT
Happy Geezer says:
Where is your pension invested? If you are consistent in your beliefs you will refuse all of your pension.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2012 8:44:31 PM PDT
C. Batty says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]
‹ Previous 1 2 Next ›
[Add comment]
Add your own message to the discussion
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Prompts for sign-in

Recent discussions in the Politics forum


This discussion

Discussion in:  Politics forum
Participants:  8
Total posts:  33
Initial post:  Jun 23, 2012
Latest post:  Jun 25, 2012

New! Receive e-mail when new posts are made.

Search Customer Discussions