This morning on MSNBC, Joe Scarborough ranted about President Obama’s economic plans (even though 56 percent of Americans approve). His latest talking point: that Obama “has never received a paycheck” in his entire life:
SCARBOROUGH: Think about this: We have a president who has never received a paycheck. … This guy — think about it — he’s running Detroit, he’s running Wall Street, he’s gonna run other sectors of our economy. Andrew, he’s never received a check from a profit-making business in his entire life. Not one check. … Think about the radicalism of that!
In fact, much like Scarborough himself, Obama has spent most of his career in legal and political work. Still, a significant portion of Obama’s career was indeed in the private sector, where he presumably earned many paychecks:
— Business International Corp.: In 1984, Obama wrote for the publisher’s weekly newsletter, Business International Money Report, covering currency issues and monetary policy.
— Sidley Austin: Obama was a summer associate at the private law firm in 1989, where he was supervised by his future wife, Michelle.
— Hopkins & Sutter: Obama was a summer associate for the Chicago law firm in 1990.
— Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Gallard: Obama was hired by the private law firm in 1993, working on voting rights and civil rights but also real estate transactions and incorporation.
Obama had all this private-sector experience before earning millions writing two best-selling books — books that were published by a for-profit, private-sector publishing company that paid him royalties directly related to his products’ performance.
The larger point, of course, is that the question of private sector experience is irrelevant when it comes to judging public servants. Indeed, Americans continue to reap the disasters sown by an oilman who owned a major league baseball franchise and boasted a Harvard MBA.