Hillary Clinton Defends Speaking Fees Going to Charity: Fees Former Top Politicians Get

Hillary Clinton defends speaking fees which she says go to charity
Hillary Rodhan Clinton has defended her six-figure speaking fees at universities by saying these fees haven’t gone to her for the past year and a half, but to charity through the Clinton Foundation. The controversy came to a head when students at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) called on Clinton to forego the $225,000 fee she’s getting for a speaking engagement as part of a university foundation dinner in October. The students feel the money could go to better use to help students, rather than to her.

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)

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4 Responses to Hillary Clinton Defends Speaking Fees Going to Charity: Fees Former Top Politicians Get

  1. gail says:

    You would think that republicans would be cheering her for her free market acumen for being able to earn so much from speaking. Just goes to show it’s all politics and nothing to do what anyone actually believes…

  2. rick says:

    The Clinton’s are like communists pushing the impoverished equality life of the maximum security prison on the people while they exempt them selves living the life of kings

  3. billy ry says:

    earning money isn’t the problem, its her doing exactly what Romney does but somehow not wanting to be held to the same standard she applied to him. and claiming poverty while gathering millions in fees.

    also transferring the money to her own charity. getting a tax break for taking money from her right pocket and putting it in her left and somehow acting like she is saving the world. its the hypocrisy on her part that is wearing thin

  4. Bill says:

    All speaking fees paid to Billary go directly to the Human Fund.

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