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Obamas want daughters to get taste of life on minimum wage

(Reuters) - President Barack Obama and wife Michelle both worked minimum-wage jobs before they got law degrees: a character-building experience they said they also want their teenage daughters to share.

The president scooped ice cream at Baskin-Robbins, waited tables at an assisted-living facility for seniors and also worked as a painter. The first lady worked at a book binding shop.

"I think every kid needs to get a taste of what it's like to do that real hard work," Michelle Obama said in an interview with Parade magazine, slated to run on Sunday.

"We are looking for opportunities for them to feel as if going to work and getting a paycheck is not always fun, not always stimulating, not always fair," the president said. "But that's what most folks go through every single day."

The first couple has taken pains to keep their daughters Malia, 16, and Sasha, 13, out of the public eye while in the White House. But Malia was recently spotted on the set of a CBS television program, working as a production assistant for a day.

The Obamas gave the interview to promote a summit the White House is holding on Monday to discuss policies to help working families.

"There are structures that can help families around child care, healthcare, and schooling that make an enormous difference in people's lives," Obama said in the interview.

This year, Obama has tried to focus on issues such as ensuring equal pay for women, expanding early childhood education and hiking the minimum wage. These issues so far have failed to gain traction in Congress, but do resonate with Democratic voters.

To advance his agenda, he needs Democrats to keep control of the Senate after November midterm elections, where Republicans stand a good chance of getting a majority, and likely also will retain control of the House of Representatives.

"If we can highlight these issues and sustain it over the next year, it's still possible to see bold action out of Congress," Obama said.

In the interview, the Obamas talked about how they lived for a year on the second floor of the house of Michelle's mom Marian Robinson after law school, drove a used car that they bought for $1,000, and worked through the stress of being saddled with student loans and small children.

They acknowledged that their careers gave them the chance to earn good incomes and negotiate family leave when they needed it - a luxury that most minimum-wage workers do not have.

"But what it made me think about was people who were on the clock," the president said. "If you're an hourly worker in most companies, and you say, 'I've got to take three days off,' you may lose your job. At minimum, you're losing income you can't afford to lose," he said.

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rjen164497 June 20 2014 at 6:31 PM

The only thing Obama can teach them is how to lie. He has done it his entire life. Start with calling himself a foriegn student on his entrance papers for college. As Obama grew his lies have gotten bigger. Don't try and tell about how great parents the Obamas are.

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28 replies
sboore47 June 20 2014 at 6:39 PM

Maybe the Big O and his wifey should learn a life lesson. Quit spending our money on all of those trips!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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10 replies
infocachet June 20 2014 at 6:14 PM

1st send them to public school then let them have one vacation a year like the rest of us, then have someone let them know that their father was not the president he proposed he would be and last you get only where you work to get to and your color has nothing to do with your success.

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7 replies
boceefuss2 June 20 2014 at 6:22 PM

This is what he's thinking about while the world is burning? No surprise, worthless to the core.. He should send them to Iraq on vacation so they can see what its like to live under sharia law that he and his vermin ilk are bringing to America.

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11 replies
judyrick53 June 20 2014 at 6:36 PM

Bull ****. Obama has never, and I mean never, worked a day in his life!

Flag Reply +70 rate up
17 replies
partsautomall June 20 2014 at 6:09 PM

I have a job for them.breaking down engines in 115 degree heat.i give them about five minutes before they wimp out

Flag Reply +46 rate up
8 replies
prnyl June 20 2014 at 6:22 PM

But get a job thru your black dad's conncections!!!!!!

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11 replies
harold123_harold June 20 2014 at 6:33 PM

Barack Obama and wife Michelle both worked minimum-wage jobs...a character-building experience they said. In their case; not so much. ...getting (earning) a paycheck is not always fun. However earning a paycheck is more honorable than welfare by 1st choice. So they started at the bottom and worked their way up, isn't that how it's supposed to be? Their own example says the system works, right? So the system isn't broken Obamas; by your example it works just fine, so stop trying to change it, and, in the process ruin it for others.

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15 replies
camp4bell June 20 2014 at 6:15 PM

Please, make congress do it next!

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3 replies
tgilecki June 20 2014 at 7:17 PM

They must be adopted...? Is it just me...? Not much resemblance anyway I see it...
Anyway the clinton kid is doing pretty good on her first job at nbc.
She's making 600 K a year for doing... well... pretty well nothing.
Nice to be entitled...

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2 replies
Joy tgilecki June 20 2014 at 9:22 PM

It's you.

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rivera8787 tgilecki June 21 2014 at 5:18 AM

Yeah....she works just as hard as her mommy Hilary does.....doesn't do **** but keeps getting paid.

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