President Clinton’s speaking fees fuel critics

June 10th, 2014 at 4:39 pm by under Jim Shella's Political Blog

Critics are making an issue about speeches, including the one Bill Clinton gave at the Indiana Convention Center Tuesday.

It’s all about the former President’s speaking fees and, if Hillary Clinton runs for President herself, they will be an issue.

It was a satisfied crowd that piled out of the ballroom where Bill Clinton spoke to the annual convention of the Insurance Accounting and Systems Association.  “Typically, I’ve always voted Republican,” said Tim Dietrich of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, “but I think what he had to say makes sense.”

The media was barred from the speech which came on the day after Hillary Clinton, in an ABC interview, explained how she can relate to average Americans.  “We came out of the White House not only dead broke,” she said, “but in debt.”

It’s a message similar to one delivered by Bill Clinton at a campaign rally for Democratic candidates in Indianapolis two years ago.

“When we got married,” he said, “we were both, as I remember, making $16,500 a year.”

Clinton got paid a lot more than that for his convention center speech.

David Leonards operates a speakers bureau known as the International Entertainment Bureau and estimates that the former President received at least $200,00 to come here.

“And on top of that,” said Leonards, “you’re going to talk about the limo fees and maybe some security involved and a private jet, in all probability, so my guess is they’re spending about a little under 300 grand to make this happen.”

It’s a circumstance that has political opponents of the Clintons pointing out that they own multiple million dollar homes.

But the people paying the bills don’t seem to mind.  “It’s off my bucket list now,” said Kathy Schuette of Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin.  “I saw a President in person so it was very good.”

Hillary Clinton, by the way, commands speaking fees that are similar to those received by her husband.

According to a CNN analysis, Bill Clinton has made $106 million in speaking feeds since he left office.

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