Did Obama Earmark $1 Million For Wife?

March 13, 2008

Update: From the Campaign Spot to NRO’s Byron York. Looks like Daddy-O brought home the bacon so Mommy-O could bring home even more bacon, too.

"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." Looks like that raise was worth it.

h/t Amanda CarpenterThis will definitely be developing, as they say. Obama’s earmarks released – and one early look:

Obama Requested $1 Million For Construction Of A New Hospital Pavilion At The University Of Chicago. In 2006, Obama requested that the University of Chicago receive $1 million to support its Construction of New Hospital Pavilion. For more than 75 years, the University of Chicago Hospitals (UCH) has provided state of the art medical care on the South Side of Chicago.

Here’s the planned pavilion. Enter Michelle Obama, the poor old Ivy League grad who has never caught a break from mean old America, or been proud of it until now!

May 9, 2005

Michelle Obama has been appointed vice president for community and external affairs at the University of Chicago Hospitals. Obama, who was previously the executive director for community affairs at the Hospitals, will be responsible for all programs and initiatives that involve the relationship between the Hospitals and the community. She will also take over management of the Hospitals’ business diversity program.

Prior to joining the Hospitals, Obama worked as an associate dean of student services for the University of Chicago where she developed the University’s first office of community service. She came to the Hospitals in 2002 and quickly built up programs for community relations, neighborhood outreach, volunteer recruitment, staff diversity and minority contracting.

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  1. IslamoLlama says:

    Wait, wait, wait! Are you suggesting that Barack Obama, after supporting the University of Chicago and serving on as the executive director for community affairs at the Hospitals, sought to earmark funding to ensure they continue to provide services and expand?
    Shocking! Scandalous! Horribly Unethical!
    How much of this money is the Obama family pocketing? None you say? So… Obama earmarked money for a hospital he supports. News at 11. … … … Le Gaspe.
    Truly, you have no grasp of how politics and federal funding work if you don’t realize this is exactly how the money is supposed to be dispersed. Seriously, who would ever pay you do to punditry? Thank god this website is paid for. GoDaddy or whomever should be charging you extra to host this level of stupidity.

  2. Hal says:

    The issue is that he asked for an earmark for his wife’s employer.

  3. Hal says:

    “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.”
    How much are they pocketing? Look like about $200,000.

  4. Dan Riehl says:

    “How much of this money is the Obama family pocketing?”
    A couple hundred grand a year, it seems:

  5. IslamoLlama says:

    Keep fishing. The fact that you need the Chicago Tribune to do all your leg work for you is kinda sad. I thought the NR was a journalistic outfit.
    That said, she was promoted to Vice President. So the raise was in correspondence with her increased position within the hospital. I know, it’s crazy that a woman might receive a promotion for an excellent job even as her husband gets elected to the Senate.
    Then, of course, there’s the question of how a $200k raise gets diverted from funds to build a new Hospital Pavilion. Apparently – as the raise came in 2005 – it was $400k that she picked up for the two years between 2005 and 2007. By the time Obama is elected President, it’ll be another $200k. So, apparently, his earmark nets the missus $600k… by your logic.
    Of course, even your own links mention how Michelle was on multiple executive boards pulling down far more money than even this raise indicated.
    And… why look!
    She’s well within the Mean salary of a Top Administrative Executive.
    A woman who receives a promotion and gets a raise. A senator who uses government earmarks to fund a hospital in one of the biggest universities in the state.
    Crooks! Thieves! Yeah right.

  6. BobInStamford says:

    How dare Hussein Obama try to get money for a teaching hospital while our troooops are in harms way. That and the absence of a lapel pin make him a traitor.

  7. WAHOO WILLIE says:

    Watching partisans trying to best each other has got to be second only to waking up in a strange bed with a high priced whore and not knowing how you got there. For 20 odd years we’ve heard all this religious right tripe, but Obie’s church is just fine. Haliburton getting no-bid jobs under Clinton was horrid, but with the shoe on da ‘nother foot it’s ok. T Jefferson was abso-freekin-lutely right in his stance against govt sponsored religion but a freekin moron everytime he defaults to liberty. You’re all sooooo cute. Esp my darlin’ LLama. I’d love for Dan to post “The sky is blue today” just so I could see what color LLama sez it is.

  8. Roy Mustang says:

    Ha! “Promoted” to VP. Her $300,000/year VP job has EXACTLY the same duties as her old $120,000/year job. I wonder how much the previous “Vice President of Community Affairs” got paid. Somehow, I get the feeling that there was previous VP.
    IslamoLlama is just trying to convince people that Obama’s sh*t don’t stink. Some people will believe it. Most will not.

  9. Cato says:

    Ok, let’s look at the timeline:
    – Obama is elected to the U.S. Senate.
    – His wife gets a promotion and her salary is more than doubled.
    – Obama slips into the federal budget an extra $1 million for the hospital that just gave his wife a huge raise and promotion.
    No, nothing to look at here. Move on.

  10. MarkJ says:

    Methinks Llama and BobinStamford are pooh-poohing this story because they’re starting to see their Great Redemption this fall slip, slip away. Hell, at the rate things are going the only “civil war” the Donks should be worrying about won’t be in Iraq–it’ll be in Denver.
    As for His High Holiness Obama the First, seems to me that “Mr. Hope & Change” is, with each passing day, looking more and more like the “Same Old S*** from Chicago.”

  11. BobInStamford says:

    Yes, bring on the broken old man. He can save AMERICA, if he can only stay awake.

  12. Roy Mustang says:

    This sordid arrangement reeks of BO.

  13. IslamoLlama says:

    “–Her $300,000/year VP job has EXACTLY the same duties as her old $120,000/year job.–”
    Wow. That’s an amazing assertion backed up by absolutely zero evidence. I don’t have to make a claim on Obama’s shit when you’ve done such an excellent job of shitting on your own arguments.
    That said, you still haven’t bothered to explain how construction fees from a new pavillion magically rolled into her $600k raise over three years. Either this is the perhaps the most out-and-out egregious violation of ethics, or the GOP noise machine is… once again… making a great deal of noise over nothing.
    You were doing better with Rezko and Farrakhan. At least try to stick with what works.

  14. templar knight says:

    Yeah, Dan, politics in Chicago has never been connected to money, or bribery, or payoffs. Chicago has always been known to be squeaky clean, unless rich old white men who just so happen to be Democrats are in charge. Then, all bets are off.

  15. Cato says:

    So, a hospital executive gets a giant raise (more than double her former salary), and shortly thereafter, her husband lands $1 million in taxpayer money for the hospital. Pointing this out is “making a great deal of noise over nothing.”
    Let’s look again at that raise: 160% in one year. And for a nonprofit. What were they expecting? That Michelle Obama would improve “community affairs” by 160%? No wonder healthcare is so expensive.

  16. WAHOO WILLIE says:

    “politics in Chicago”
    Richard M Daley anyone?

  17. Roy Mustang says:

    The Vice President of Community Affairs is responsible for all programs and initiatives that involve the relationship between the Hospitals and the community.
    The Executive Director for Community Affairs is responsible for all programs and initiatives that involve the relationship between the Hospitals and the community.
    Let’s get down to the bottom of this scandal.
    Who was the VP of Community Affairs before Michelle? Was he paid $300,000/year? Who has taken over Michelle’s former job as Executive Director?

  18. Roy Mustang says:

    “So, a hospital executive gets a giant raise (more than double her former salary), and shortly thereafter, her husband lands $1 million in taxpayer money for the hospital. Pointing this out is “making a great deal of noise over nothing.””
    If it looks like corruption, acts like corruption and smells like corruption, it’s probably BO.

  19. Saul Goode says:

    …and co-ink-a-dink-a-ly, guess who Obama’s largest contributer is

  20. Jim Addison says:

    Dan, I’m surprised at you, letting the trail of cookie crumbs leading to Barry and Michelle’s hands and mouths, and jumping to the conclusion they had something to do with the missing cookies . . . clearly the [Bad] Old Politics has colored [oops, my bad - am I injecting "race" into this?] your perceptions. You see the world too much in terms of black and white, instead of a glorious, homogenous gray (like those good ol’ Mao suits), and are clearly in need of reeducation.
    Sit in a comfortable position in a quiet room and take a few deep breaths. Think about Hope, and let Its warmth fill your broken soul . . . Sloooowly . . . that’s it. Now, close your eyes and begin to chant, slowly at first . . . Oh . . . Bom . . . Uh . . . Good, good! And again and again: Oh . . . Bom . . . Uh . . . Oh . . . Bom . . . Uh . . . Oh . . . Bom . . . Uh . . . That’s the spirit! Remember, Change is coming! . . . a little faster now, but let it all blend together into a rhythymic hum: Oh . . . Bom . . . Uh . . . Oh – Bom – Uh . . . Oh – Bom – Uh . . . Oh – Bom – Uh . . . Hope and Change and Oh – Bom – Uh . . . By George, I think he’s got it!
    I bet you’re feeling audacious already . . .

  21. Walter Cronanty says:

    When the Presidential debates get to health care, and Sen. Obama waxes eloquent about how high the costs are and how it’s a national scandal that the poor and middle class simply can’t afford decent, basic health care, does anyone think the moderator will have the cojones to ask the good Senator if he thinks that paying over $300,000 a year to a hospital administrator who is in charge, not of any department having anything to do with the quality of health care being provided but, of “community affairs”, has anything to do with the high cost of health care?

  22. UrbanGrounds says:

    Obama Earmarks $1 Million For Wifes Employer

    For a guy talking about change, the act of earmarking a bunch of money for his wifes employer (right after they more than double her salary) sure seems like business as usual to me.

  23. Cato says:

    I’ve searched and searched for any mention of a “vice president for community and external affairs” (with or without the appendage of “external”) at the U of C Hospitals prior to Michelle Obama, but cannot find one. (There is also a “vice president for community and government affairs,” as well as an “assistant vice president and director of community affairs,” for the university as a whole. Redundancies upon redundancies?)
    If you read the press release announcing her “appointment,” it makes no mention of a predecessor either. I am beginning to suspect that her elevation from “executive director” with a similar portfolio of duties, to “vice president” was done simply to paper over the fact that they gave her a humungous raise. If anybody knows of the existence of a predecessor (if any) in that position, please tell.
    Whatever you think of all this, I sure hope President Obama doesn’t appoint his wife to oversee a restructuring of government bureaucracy.

  24. Thursday night links

    Our lead story: Barack Obama has finally released his record of earmarks requested in 2005 and 2006, and one of them is a doozy: $1,000,000 for the University of Chicago to build a new hospital pavilion. The kicker? The U

  25. jim says:

    I used to work at the U of C hospital. No there wasn’t a VP of Community Services before Michelle Obama. Now, to her credit she has done a good job and they have done a lot in recent years to change their image in the community.
    That said, the job does not really rise to the VP level of significance and certainly does not require $300k. Just 4 years ago she was giving tours of the community to new employees. A $300k tour guide? Life really is hard for Michelle O. I guess it’s tough to be proud of a country that is so corrupt that you can bleed dry the people your husband supposedly represents.

  26. Jean says:

    Amazing how easily Obama supporters dismiss this, and other issues, as no big deal. They are in denial and have been snowed by Obama, the illusionist.

  27. jim says:

    Don’t be snowed. People ask me why I think Obama won’t win. I tell them because he hasn’t shown that he can win a contested race. He won his state senate position by forcing all his opponents off the primary ballot. He ran unopposed in the primary and the general.
    When he ran for the US senate his main primary opponent had to quit due to scandal. His GOP opponent quit after unpleasant details of his sealed divorce records were illegally made public. He ran virtually unopposed for the US senate.
    His main victories this year have come in caucuses where there have been allegations of intimidation. I don’t think that he even believes he can win a straight up vote hence his unwillingness to have a revote in MI and FL and his proposal for caucuses. He can’t stand up to the scrutiny that is only starting to be applied.

  28. CrusaderLlama says:

    IslamoLlama… what does that imply btw? Be careful, ask three members of the choir at a certain church… I forgot, you can’t.
    Because I like you, I suggest you google Stuart Levine with Miche… you know, the witness in the Rezko trial right now, and Michelle Obama. After that, I suggest you look at her time in Daley’s office and what she did (and the salary), look at the positions she’s had, then google each of the trial witnesses with her. BTW, that Landmarks and Outreach to minority contractors… very interesting. You may wake up.
    If you really want to get cerebral, you can look up Huggins and the Mrs., hard to find nowdays… but I grabbed the info before most of it was scrubbed (including the report and statements from two Chitown policemen). Not pretty.

  29. Yes, Yes I Can…

    …more than double my wife’s salary Dan Riehl notes, via Amanda Carpenter, that in the list of earmarks he requested, $1 Million was requested for the construction of a new hospital pavilion at the University Of Chicago. The request was…

  30. BobInStamford says:

    Newsflash for the ditch-diggers. $300K isn’t all that much money for someone with at Princeton undergrad and Harvard Law degree working in the private sector for 20 years. Now get back to work so that you can afford to fill the tanks of your pickup trucks.

  31. templar knight says:

    “$300k isn’t all that much money for someone with at(sic) Princeton undergrad and Harvard Law degree working in the private sector for 20 years.”
    Who said it was, dumb ass? We said it was too much money for what she was doing, i.e., conducting tours, etc. It’s not as if she is the V-P of a Fortune 500 company. And it seems rather pricey for a hospital.
    Incidentally, that Dartmouth education seems to be failing you. Perhaps you didn’t study as much as the Powerline guys. They’ve done so much better than you.

  32. Mike says:

    So Obama is proud of his race-baiting, hate-spewing pastor, but his wife isn’t proud of her country. Perhaps they have different standards for what is or is not worthy of pride, but my guess is their standards are exactly the same.

  33. chris says:

    It’s pointless to talk reason to these neanderthals. After all, they still believe in angels and WMDs. Incidently, a “V-P” (sic) of a Fortune 500 company clears a helluva lot more than 300K. Get back to your retirement, lazy man.

  34. Roy Mustang says:

    So basically the University gave a new job title and a 300% raise to Mrs. Obama in order to receive favors from her newly minted Senator husband.
    Unethical and shameful. But, as the Obamas have stated, they really need the money to pay back their students loans and for their kids piano lessons.

  35. jim says:

    It’s not just pricey for a hospital it’s pricey for an inner city hospital that sees a LOT of uninsured patients and in the last 10 years discontinued being a trauma center because they were losing too much money.
    Let’s see.. Should we serve the community by taking care of their health needs, or is it better to pay some one obscene amounts of cash to make it look like we care?
    Obviously, they decided that the money was better spent on the marketing. Does it strike you that some of the inequities Michelle Obama complains about are ones the she herself has created and ones the she benefits from directly?
    It’s convenient when you can blame The Man for all your problems and look like a victim while raking in the cash. She’s probably making close to 15x to 20x the average household income of people in the surrounding communities.

  36. templar knight says:

    “A V-P(sic) of a Fortune 500 company makes a hellula lot more than 300k.”
    Speaking of lazy, I did a little research and found the following examples for you, chris/Boob. Enjoy.
    Senior Vice-President of Sales—Wal-Mart—-$263,000 annually w/performance bonus of $150,000.
    Senior Vice-President of IT—Average of all large corporations with over 50,000 employees—$277,000 annually w/varying bonuses.
    The salary of Michelle Obama compares favorably to these salaries of Vice-Presidents of large companies. I’m sure some make more than this, but that has no merit in this arguement since it is quite obvious that Michelle Obama is overpaid. And received a large raise as a result of corruption, the very thing you liberals claim to be against. Until it’s a liberal, that is, and then corruption is great. What a bunch of hypocrites liberals are.

  37. You really should be saving some of this stuff for the Main Event. It’s wasted here in the prelims.

  38. Evan Mecham's ghost says:

    Perhaps, a cautionary tale–
    Arizona had the reverse version of this story on a small scale back in 89-90 with their ABSCAM episode–state politics on a small, local scale. All states probably do.
    Carolyn Warner, a female, black democrat, had a do nothing VP kinda job with then US West based on her elected position as a part time, elected state senator. She was making about x3 the average annual salary of a white collar flunky manager (that worked 80+ hrs a week).
    She was caught on tape complaining that those sorry suckas wuz keepin a sista down by not paying her more, yada, yada while thumbing thru a stack of cash
    Her 2 minutes involved casting the deciding vote for impeachment of Ev ‘picakanny’ Mecham, Rethuglican Guv
    After her indictmnet/conviction US West fired her ass like a ‘danger close’ artillery barrage.
    Last time she was heard from, she was selling homemade cookies at an indoor park-n-swap from a folding card table. heh.
    How the mighty (in their own minds)have (will) fall.

  39. hilzoy says:

    Before you all go on about how Obama “landed” a million for his wife’s employer, and “slipped money” into the federal budget, and all that, it might be worth noting that the list is of earmarks he requested. So an obvious question is: did he actually get this earmark? Answer: no. From today’s NYT (since I can’t do links):
    “Mr. Obama’s presidential campaign also said that only about $220 million worth of his requests had been approved by Congress. And among those that had been killed were his request in 2006 for $1 million for an expansion of the University of Chicago Medical Center, where Mr. Obama’s wife, Michelle, is a vice president.”

  40. georg says:

    “Don’t be snowed. People ask me why I think Obama won’t win. I tell them because he hasn’t shown that he can win a contested race.”
    stay tuned. if you haven’t seen the internets lately, he appears to be slaying the clintons as we speak, one of the biggest, baddest dragons on the political landscape. He has also broke and re-broke the single month fundraising record previously held by GW (who was running ‘uncontested’ at the time).
    So, yes, aside from possibly being the greatest political fundraiser in US history and defeating the dual campaigning/financing efforts of Hillary and President Clinton, I think your correct. He’s entirely unproven and probably can’t win a contested race. Riiiight.
    Whose the one getting snowed?

  41. george says:

    “Who said it was, dumb ass? We said it was too much money for what she was doing, i.e., conducting tours, etc. It’s not as if she is the V-P of a Fortune 500 company. And it seems rather pricey for a hospital.”
    Just out of curiosity, what do you think is an appropriate salary for a Princeton Educated, Harvard Law Educated, Vice President with 20 years experience in the private sector? How about a VP for a Fortune 500 company? Maybe you should look up the averages, I’ll give you a minute.
    Now that you’ve looked it up, you can attempt to explain why she should earn less than her peers at the same level? And don’t give the unsubstantiated, although quite laughable, excuse that “she just gives tours”. I can’t figure out if that is sexist, racist or just plain ignorant, but please stop perpetuating that baseless and insulting assumption.

  42. daytree says:

    chunk my dad a bit of decay year most forts black I was

  43. Thorazine, stat! for Wendy Doniger

    Good grief, this woman has gone over the edge. Wendy Doniger needs a good healthy dose of the cognitive dissonance to which she has apparently grown numb. Her blog titled All Beliefs Welcome, Unless They are Forced on Others includes this slam agains…