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Obama to make $400,000 for Wall Street speech

Is this obscene—or the American dream?


Andrew Couts


Posted on Apr 26, 2017   Updated on May 24, 2021, 4:24 pm CDT

Barack Obama is about to join the list of ex-presidents who make staggering amounts of money for doing what politicians do best: talking.

The former president of the United States has accepted a $400,000 speaking fee to deliver a speech at a conference sponsored by Wall Street investment bank Cantor Fitzgerald, Fox Business reports.

The extraordinarily high speaking fee, even by presidential standards, may put Obama in the company of his predecessors, but it also opens him up to the types of attacks Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton faced during the 2016 election, particularly if he attempts to use his popularity to boost progressive causes and candidates during future elections.

Of course, it is unlikely many Americans would turn down the opportunity to make a fortune simply through public speaking. Ex-president George W. Bush reportedly draws between $100,00 and $175,000 per speech and delivered at least 200 speeches between 2009, the year he left office, and 2015, according to Politico. Bill Clinton turned his post-presidency into an even more lucrative speaking career, according to a Washington Post analysis, earning over $100 million as of 2014 by delivering speeches at around $200,000 a pop.

In addition to a variety of speaking events, Obama is also working on a memoir, traveling, and working with organizations and universities on issues of civic engagement.

H/T New York Times

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*First Published: Apr 26, 2017, 12:46 pm CDT