Is it normal to be broke?

Sen. Barack Obama is running for the White House, but it was not so long ago that he was so broke his debit card was declined.

At an unscheduled campaign stop at Vessels & Jewels store in New London, Obama bought a necklace for each of his two young daughters and a key chain, spending $37 on his debit card.

Waiting for his receipt, the man who is hoping to be elected as America’s first black president turned to an aide and said, “Have I told you the story of the 2000 convention?”

“After I had lost my congressional race I had been running on broke and I got talked into going to Los Angeles. I got to the airport and I tried to use my card but it was declined,” Obama said.

“That was only seven years ago,” he said. “It’s not that far from being normal, that’s my point.”

On this occasion — one day before New Hampshire votes on who it wants to run in the November election to replace U.S. President George W. Bush — the debit card of the man leading the Democratic field was accepted.


  1. JudyB

    Being elected to U S Congress is an instant elixir for those who suffered being “broke” before their election.

    Ponder over these onerous facts…
    Those seated in Congress have their needs well taken care of, besides making a good salary, they have the greatest retirement and medical plans known to mankind because, they vote for their own benefits and raises. Add to these benefits, they are usually paid extra for speaking etc., all too often recieve unbelievable perks…(God only knows just how many actually)recieve big bucks from lobbyists for favors granted, and somehow, they never have a problem getting a high paying job after leaving office.
    It is rare if not impossible to find a “broke” U S Congress person…and IF you do, it will be because they have not managed their personal monies any better than they have the taxpayers!

    Funny (NOT) that each year, when the U S Congress convenes, they quickly set about over-spending “We The Peoples” tax dollars, seeing to it that “We The People” are the ones who are left “broke”!

    “THERE OTTA BE A LAW” …ya think???

  2. Steve Horn

    Being broke is, for most Americans, a very normal state of affairs. Most of us live paycheck to paycheck – perhaps BO is more a “man of the people” than I’d previously known …



  3. Carl Nemo

    What I find interesting about the Obama story is that he was able to discuss it with such candor to an aide, knowing that such disclosures could possibly come back to bite him. Would we all feel much better knowing he was awash to the gunnels with bucks?

    Congress and the Senate are loaded with millionaires and probably in time there will be billionaires holding office. Where have these money people gotten us? They have so much money either earned, inherited or ill-gotten that they have no respect for managing “we the people’s” money all that well.

    The Clintons went to D.C. as broke-assed debtors and now have a net worth in the 40 million range. They have also stiffed their creditors concerning legal fees etc. … /:)

    I suspect the reason Obama is somewhat “out of pocket” is it’s quite expensive to maintain a lifestyle in D.C. and the surrounding area. This is not an excuse for him not doing a better job of managing his personal finances. Since we don’t know the specific details as to why he has money problems or what his current red-ink debt-load might be, it’s impossible to make any judgement concerning his predicament.

    The average U.S. household is carrying $7500-9500 of CC debt! So in a way U.S. citizens emulate their deadbeat government. I guess we can say our national predicament is guilt by association…no?! 😐

    Carl Nemo **==

  4. Janet

    Just makes me more comfortable with him knowing how regular people live and the struggles of everyday life. I admire his down to earth candor. Though I do wonder why he is using a debit card and not a credit card. Hope he has good credit.

    Do you think Romney has ever been broke? Do you get the idea he is clueless when it comes to understanding real people? I do, especially after listening to him at the debate talk about health insurance. He really thinks that 47 million people don’t have health insurance because it is their choice not to. He thinks that going to the hospital for a “repair” costs $1000.00 How out of touch can he be?

  5. barak

    All politicians lie. This is a fact of life in the world, not only in America. Given that, consider the possibility that Obama was lying just to create sympathy and to claim fiscal skill in rising from a state of being broke to being financially sound. Obama might well have not had money in that debit account, perhaps he was too busy extorting bucks ala Jesse Jackson to move the money from one place to the other.
    These crooks don’t buy suits that cost three, four, and five thousand dollars on layaway. Remember that and consider Obama was ‘acting’ when he made those remarks. He is slick, and he is tough. Anyone from Chicago’s ghettos who has managed to rise out of the slums knows what to say and when to say it when the media is listening. I don’t like him and I don’t trust him, but I can say that for all the current candidates.
    Re Obama, I won’t vote for him.

  6. barak

    And if I can’t get California to give me a voter’s registration card, I might not be able to vote for anyone.
    But then, I’m from Chicago–the city of the Big Shoulders whose motto is: “VOTE RIGHT AND VOTE OFTEN!”
    If I have to get on an airplane and fly the 8,000 miles to insist on my voting rights, I will. I refuse to be disenfranchised by the bureaucracy!