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Hillary Clinton Makes $200,000 Per Speech--and close to $5 million in the last 1...
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Hillary Clinton Makes $200,000 Per Speech--and close to $5 million in the last 15 months

When Hillary Clinton left her position as secretary of state in February 2013, she had, for the first time, time of...

Hillary Clinton Makes $200,000 Per Speech--and close to $5 million in the last 15 months

When Hillary Clinton left her position as secretary of state in February 2013, she had, for the first time, time off to do whatever she wanted before deciding whether to run for the White House. This was the period when she decided to join the family foundation and wrote her new memoir, Living History.

This was not her only activity. She also hit the speaking circuit, making money from businesses and trade groups that obviously had an interest in building favour with a possible president. Clinton has made over 90 speeches and important appearances since leaving State, speaking for various private firms, investment banks, non-profit galas, universities and trade association conventions.

 

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What will leave you speechless is her usual fee of $200,000 a speech, and she has banked close to $5 million in the last 15 months through this activity. These for-profit speeches provoke a serious question for a possible presidential candidate: Is she providing unfair access to well-heeled companies such as Goldman Sachs, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and the National Association of Realtors?

 

"This is a great way for a company to get access to her, to hear what she's thinking, to be remembered if and when she does run for office, and to help her grow that nice little nest egg that she and her husband have been intent on building," Meredith McGehee, policy director at the Campaign Legal Center, said.

It’s typical for former presidents and cabinet members to use their government experience to advantage after leaving office. Ronald Reagan, for example, made $2 million for only two speeches in Japan. Hillary Clinton's situation is different because she may not be done with public office: She might be aiming to take on the presidential position.

 

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The companies and organizations that hosted Hillary Clinton are not allowed to disclose her payment. “Clinton's decision to pocket six-figure sums from Big Finance heavyweights and other corporate players might tarnish her public image,” says Russ Baker, a Rutgers University political scientist.

Companies that host Clinton have many opportunities and get the kind of access that ordinary people can only dream about. "Here's the problem: You and I, most of the people we know, there's no way in hell we can afford to have Clinton come speak and spend time with us. This speaking engagement game is a game that favours the wealthy interests, just like our campaign finance system,” says Meredith McGehee, of the Campaign Legal Center.

 

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