Jerry Kellman, the man who hired Barack Obama as a community organizer, said earlier tonight:
In 1985, I needed to hire a community organizer. I found myself in New York City, across from a 25-year-old recent college graduate. I wanted to convince him to give up a comfortable life and a bright future to come to Chicago to take up the toughest of challenges for a salary of just $10,000 a year.
As I've written before, that $10,000 figure is almost certainly incorrect. Though that amount (plus a $2,000 car stipend) is cited in Dreams from My Father, Obama said in May that he made $12,000 plus the $2,000 car stipend. In inflation-adjusted dollars, $14,000 in 1985 translates into over $28,000 today. Speaking from personal experience, one can live comfortably in Washington, D.C., on $28,000. I'm pretty sure Obama wasn't scraping by when he was making the equivalent in 1985 in Chicago.
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