The president is not the only former public servant who has found a lucrative post-office life on the speechmaking circuit
It’s no longer just supermodels who won’t get out of bed for less than six figures.
Former President Barack Obama has been under fire recently after it emerged that he would be charging Cantor Fitzgerald $400,000 to speak at the financial service firm’s healthcare conference this fall. America’s 44th commander-in-chief also spoke at a Thursday lunch organized by A&E Networks, for which he also received $400,000, or his annual salary as president.
Much of the criticism has come from the left. Self-described democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders called it distasteful while Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a progressive darling, said that she was troubled. (That led to President and Twitter addict Donald Trump retweeting a Fox & Friends video about her criticism)
Former President Obama's $400K Wall Street speech stuns liberal base; Sen. Warren saying she "was troubled by that" pic.twitter.com/mEc9YZr1pD
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) April 28, 2017
Obama of course, doesn’t only speak to big business: He appeared at the University of Chicago earlier this week to talk to students about the importance of community organizing. But as a relatively popular president who only recently left office, his $400,000 fee is among the highest. Here are other big-name politicos who make six figures from standing behind a podium:
1. As Chairman of the Federal Reserve, markets literally moved based on the utterings of Ben Bernanke. Shortly after stepping down in 2014, spoke for 40 minutes at the Global Financial Markets Forum in Abu Dhabi, earning $250,000 (or $50,000 more than his previous annual salary.) Some later gigs in Asia paid as much as $400,000.
2. After serving as Obama’s Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton hit the speechmaking circuit, charging about $200,000 per talk. Her husband, former President Bill Clinton, also commands fees in the same ballpark. Since the Clintons left the White House in 2000, they are said to have made over $100 million primarily from speaking.
3. Another Obama cabinet member who draws expectant audiences with big wallets is Tim Geithner. The Treasury Secretary made $200,000 from a lecture at a Deutsche Bank conference in June 2013.
4. As a rare female Republican who held high office, Condoleezza Rice is much in demand. The University of Minnesota paid the former Secretary of State about $150,000 for a lecture in 2014 that drew protestors—and a sold-out crowd.
5. Al Gore lost the electoral college in 2000, but gained a Nobel Prize and a fortune that Bloomberg valued at $200 million. That’s buttressed by the $175,000 the former Vice President makes each time he’s invited to hold forth.
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