If any of you readers are considering a career change, or early in your college careers and debating what to major in, Mother Jones has your answer: BE HILLARY CLINTON, GO GIVE A SPEECH. Cast aside your STEM shit, ya’ll, this lady gets paid.
Spokespeople for several of the companies and organizations that have hosted Clinton as a speaker say her contract prevents them from disclosing her payment, though several point to news reports pegging her usual fee at $200,000 a speech. The New York Times reported last summer that Clinton’s typical speech features “pithy reflections” and lessons from her tenure as secretary of state such as “Leadership is a team sport,” “You can’t win if you don’t show up,” and “A whisper can be louder than a shout.” The cost of travel and the use of private jet, according to the Times, are negotiated as part of her fee.
It’s a time-honored tradition for former presidents and cabinet members to exploit their previous government service after leaving office. The month he vacated the White House, Ronald Reagan jetted off to Japan, where he made $2 million for just two speeches, an eyebrow-raising move, given fears among some at the time that the Japanese were gaining undue economic power and influence in the United States.
On the one hand, this will lay the groundwork for some major fundraising. On the other, as MJ points out, cozying up to some of these “Big Finance heavyweights” could come back to bite her in the ass on the campaign trail. Also: is it democratic?
“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,” McGehee says. “This speaking engagement game is a game that favors the wealthy interests, just like our campaign finance system.”
While I believe that the answer to more or less all of our country’s problems starts with campaign finance reform, as long as this is the broken system we have? Don’t hate the player hate the game.
Also yes let’s all consider a career in the speaking circuit. Can you major in witty aphorisms?