Today No One Refuses the Money

George Packer’s New Yorker piece on the speaking circuit for former presidents and secretaries of state and other people not named Clinton is delicious with details how who got paid how much for what. So good. Central to the piece is this quote from Harry S. Truman, who refused such engagements and spent many years after his presidency very poor: “I could never lend myself to any transaction, however respectable, that would commercialize on the prestige and dignity of the office of the Presidency.”

Packer writes: “Truman’s gesture now seems exceedingly old-fashioned. Today, no one refuses the money.”



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