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Thursday, August 13, 2009

ABC's John Stossel's Take on Michelle Obama's Public Service

Commentary from Co-Anchor of ABC News' "20/20

"You in “big corporate jobs,” how much do you pay your “special assistants” and “deputy directors”? You don’t have any? How strange.
In her speech to the Democratic Convention, Michelle Obama said she’d sacrificed a lucrative career in order to serve her country. “In my own life, in my own small way, I have tried to give back to this country that has given me so much,” she said. “See, that’s why I left a job at a big law firm for a career in public service.”
But I'm not clear on exactly what she was “giving back” to do “public service.” Byron York writes:

In 2006, the Chicago Tribune reported that Mrs. Obama’s compensation at the University of Chicago Hospital, where she is a vice president for community affairs, jumped from $121,910 in 2004, just before her husband was elected to the Senate, to $316,962 in 2005, just after he took office.

The National Review's blog later updated the story:

(I)n the list of earmarks (then-Sen. Obama) requested, $1 million was requested for the construction of a new hospital pavilion at the University Of Chicago. The request was put in in 2006.

At the time, Michelle Obama was still vice president of community affairs. She kept her job until a few weeks before she moved into the White House.

Michelle Obama's press office would not comment to ABC on the earmark for the hospital pavilion.

(continues here at ABC News)

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