Timmeh cuts, pastes and
David Warren on constant changer Barack Obama:
A man who, should he win the election and serve one term, will have been President of the United States longer than he has held any steady job.
Until he gets bored and quits to sign up for macramé classes. Full column here.
A simple fact-check on Wikipedia:
The Illinois Senate career of Barack Obama stretched from 1996 to 2004, when Barack Obama was elected to the United States Senate. Starting in 1993 and throughout his state senate career, Obama also taught constitutional law part-time at the University of Chicago Law School, as a Lecturer from 1992 to 1996 and as a Senior Lecturer from 1996-2004, when he was elected to the U.S. Senate.
So that, in fact, is two jobs held concurrently that ran for around a decade.
Mark Steyn attempts to respond by denigrating service in the State Senate as not being a real job:
In my own state, the senate sits from January to June and senators receive an annual salary of $100. Which is as it should be. I assume in Illinois the position is more attractive financially, even before it’s bulked up by Chicago machine perks. But in no sense is it any kind of “job”. And I’d hope the Reason boys would agree on that.
More attractive financially – Check:
Legislators must be US citizens, at least 21 years old, and residents of their district for at least two years prior to election. The legislative salary was $55,788 in 2002.
In no sense is it a “job”? Well, it might be far from full-time (some data that I found on days in session suggests it averages to a little over one day per week). But, as any Australian politician would point out, sitting in legislative sessions is not the only part of the job. But considering that Obama was also teaching law at the same time, it seems a bit strange to suggest that he wasn’t working for that entire period.
What’s more, doesn’t Obama’s career trajectory capture what is becoming more common in the workforce? Job mobility, openness to change in career path, and not nailing oneself to a full-time position for the rest of one’s life is what most employees are doing – whether by choice or through the forces at work in the labour market. What’s so wrong about having an elected representative who is actually representative?
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