In a normal year, this would likely be a non-issue, but it isn’t a normal year. Hillary Clinton is widely expectd to make a run for the presidency in 2016, and her finances have become political fodder after she claimed her family was “dead broke” and in debt upon leaving the White House in January 2001. She later clarified by saying the comments were “inartful,” but since then anything to do with what her and her husband make has been newsworthy.
In a recent interview with ABC News, Clinton explained why the controversy is not one at all by saying, “All of the fees have been donated to the Clinton Foundation for it to continue its life-changing and life-saving work. So it goes from a foundation at a university to another foundation.”
Clinton isn’t the only politician who gets hefty speaking fees. The Washington post reported last year it’s common for politicians to get these speaking fees. While not a comprehensive list, it does give an idea of the large amounts of money former politicians get to speak:
- Bill Clinton: $750,000 (former president)
- Rudy Giuliani: $270,000 (former mayor of New York City)
- Al Gore: $156,000 (former vice president)
- George W. Bush: $110,000 (former president)
- Dick Cheney: $75,000 (former vice president)
- Mitt Romney: $40,000-60,000 (2012 Republican presidential candidate)
- Howard Dean: $20,000 (Democratic National Committee Chairman)
That places Clinton’s speaking fee on par with Rudy Giuliani’s fee. While there may be debate whether she’s worth that much, the fee she charges isn’t anything out of the ordinary for the speaking circuits.
Even though her speaking fees are going to her foundation and not directly to her, the issue isn’t likely to quietly go away. Critics see the issue of money as an area which could cause her problems if she decides to run for president, and they will keep the topic of money and the Clintons in the news as long as possible. Don’t be surprised to see much more of this type of controversy surfacing with her finances in the months to come.
(Photo courtesy of Marc Nozell)