If you believe Obama’s ads and his debate barbs at Hillary Clinton, you’d think Barack Obama took a vow of poverty after law school in order to serve the poorest among us. He’s practically Mother Theresa incarnate. Over and over he repeats the same old line, that he didn’t “cash in” after law school by working for some big law firm. His implication of course being that Hillary did, and even had the nerve to be the first woman on the board of Walmart too.
There’s a great deal of “disingenuousness” in such statements, however. You see, Barack met Michelle during his summer law school internship at Sidley Austin LLP, formerly known as Sidley Austin Brown & Wood LLP, one of the oldest law firms in the world. It’s the sixth-largest U.S.-based corporate law firm with over 1,800 lawyers, annual revenues of more than one billion dollars, and offices in 16 cities worldwide. They began dating and were married the year after he graduated law school. So while Obama himself didn’t cash in, his wife sure did, and he undoubtedly reaped the benefits.
It’s really no different than the Clintons, where Bill was the low paid public servant, and Hillary did the corporate gig. Hillary didn’t do this for several years after graduating however, and she continued to work for indigenous clients while working at Rose Law Firm in Arkansas, a small fish compared to Sidley.
Obama also sees nothing wrong for criticizing Clinton for serving on the board of Walmart at a time when Walmart was not nearly the notorious juggernaut it currently is. This was also when Sam Walton was alive, and while no angel, Walmart went downhill fast after his death. On FactCheck.org you’ll find the following;
It’s true that Clinton sat on the Wal-Mart board for six years while her husband was governor of Arkansas, where the chain has its corporate headquarters. She was paid about $18,000 a year for doing it. At the time, she worked at the Rose Law Firm, which had represented Wal-Mart in various matters. According to accounts from other board members, Clinton was a thorn in the side of the company’s founder, Sam Walton, on the matter of promoting women, few of whom were in the ranks of managers or executives at the time. She also strongly advocated for more environmentally sound corporate practices, board colleagues and company executives noted. She made limited progress in both areas, but she never voiced any objections to the company’s anti-union stand, they said. But in 2005 she returned a $5,000 contribution to her campaign from Wal-Mart, citing “serious differences” with its “current” practices.Michelle however, just retired from her position on the board of one of Walmart’s major food suppliers, a company sited over an over for numerous worker violations. Of course she says her perfectly timed retirement has nothing to do with Barack’s campaign.
Michelle’s career has taken a very lucrative path as exposed by the UK Daily Mail.
More contentious still was Michelle’s appointment as the £150,000-a-year vice-president of external affairs at the University of Chicago hospital in 2005.
It came only two months after Barack was sworn in as a U.S. senator, and was attacked by critics as a blatant attempt, critics claim, by the hospital’s hierarchy to curry favour with her husband, in an era when some politicians want to rein in the vast profits of America’s medical system.
They questioned why the wife of a committed Democrat would work for a hospital that has been accused of ruthless greed.
Michelle’s image was further tarnished in May 2006, when it was revealed that the centre – despite earning some £50million a year – had refused to treat a man who could not afford to pay his bill. He died.
All of which has led some political veterans to accuse Michelle of the very lack of compassion and moral scruples that her husband has lambasted in his Republican rivals for the White House.
Obama is a multi-millionaire and is ranked 48th most wealthy among the 100 US senators. That’s quite a feet considering he is the second youngest of them, and of course, he never “cashed in.”
The Clinton’s obviously have their own share of the nation’s wealth, but the vast majority of it stems from post-Whitehouse book publishing and speaking engagements. The Obama’s will likely be far ahead of the Clinton’s when they reach their age at the rate they’re raking it in.