September 5, 2012

Business is booming for Clinton

From CNN earlier this year:
Bill Clinton has most lucrative year on speech circuit

July 03, 2012|By Robert Yoon, CNN Political Research Director

In 11 years as a private citizen, Clinton has delivered 471 paid speeches and earned an average of $189,000 per event. 
Former President Bill Clinton commanded the largest speaking fees of his career in 2011, earning $13.4 million and exceeding his previous record by 25%. 

The successful efforts in 2011 of Bill Clinton's wife, the Secretary of State, to start a war with Libya and kill Col. Muammar Gadafi, a colleague of Bill's leading rival on the international lecture circuit, Tony Blair, couldn't have been bad for business.
Clinton's fees were detailed in Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's annual financial disclosure report, released Monday. A CNN analysis of those records shows that the former commander-in-chief has earned $89 million from paid speeches since leaving the White House in January 2001. ...
Clinton delivered 54 paid speeches in 2011, roughly the same as his 2010 workload, but the marked increase in income can be credited to six overseas events that earned him the largest single paydays of his career. 
The most lucrative was a November speech in Hong Kong to Swedish-based telecom giant Ericsson -- $750,000. Clinton also earned $700,000 for a March speech to a local newspaper publishing company in Lagos, Nigeria [Huh?], and $550,000 for a November speech to a business forum in Shanghai, China. He earned $500,000 apiece for three events in Austria and Holland in May and in the United Arab Emirates in December. 
... The former president's previous record for speech income earned in one year was in 2010, when he earned $10.7 million for 52 events. His speech earnings last year were nearly double the $7.5 million he earned in 2009. 
Almost half of the former president's speech income last year, $6.1 million, came from 16 speeches delivered in 11 other countries, ranging from Canada to Saudi Arabia. The remainder was earned in 38 domestic speeches delivered in nine states and the District of Columbia.

The concept of "conflict of interest" is slowly dying out, especially when it  could be applied to two-career couples.


Aaron B. said...

Wow. $89 million has to buy a lot of hookers and coke.

Anonymous said...

At least Clinton can talk. Wouldn't it be funny if W. was pulling hundreds of thousands per speech too?

Evil Sandmich said...

When someone is trying to get a slice of a 4 trillion dollar pie, I guess an iffy $500,000 bribe isn't the worst of bets.

Anonymous said...

"Bush’s standard speaking fee is reportedly between $100,000 and $150,000."

John Dooey said...


Latest solution to the problem with urban public schools: randomly distribute all children throughout the system without regard to where they come from; then middle-class parents will care about maintaining the system as a whole. Apparently, this idiot has never heard of private schools and the abandonment of major urban areas for the suburbs precisely to get away from the public schools. Also, here's a choice indication of the seriousness of the proposal: "In addition, a basic level of awareness about acts of microviolence in the classroom is necessary. Most teachers in urban areas are middle-class white women who may not grasp, for example, that the young African-American girl in the class who refuses to remove her scarf is not being disrespectful, but is rather trying to manage an otherwise paralyzing 'bad hair day'." 'Cause we all know that the most disruptive aspect of black behavior in class is the disrespect shown by girls wearing scarves (and that nice white ladies are totally clueless about this)!

dearieme said...

Clinton never drowned a girl. Not with sea water, anyway.

Anonymous said...

Much is made of W. Clinton's charisma. But something else is going on here.

My own little city rustled up something like 150K a few years ago for him to address the chamber of commerce and gladhand around a bit.

The speech itself was boilerplate about the dot-com revolution and inspirational one-world lurv platitudes.

His cultural role must be 'secular shaman'; there to reassure the masses that they are not abandoned in a Godless world.

Gilbert P.

DirkY said...

I paid 10k to get a photo with the big dog. It was tax deductible so really 6k. It impresses potential partners and customers, was part of a fun event, and I think he puts it to good use with his foundation.

He was our greatest modern president: no major wars, kept taxes high and spending low, generally meritocratic appointments to the executive and judicial branches. Biggest black mark by far was bombing Serbia.

Truth said...

"He was our greatest modern president: no major wars..."

Bill Clinton's legacy is one of the most overrated myths in modern American history. He became president at the dawn of internet commerce, nothing more - nothing less. Harold Stassen would have left a good presidential legacy under those conditions.

Anonymous said...

Kibernetika napisal:

As I drove past Bank of America Stadium last weekend, carefully avoiding the potholes that have resisted recent efforts at repaving for the convention, I found myself involuntarily following a car that had two (2) prominent bumper stickers:

1) "Dangerously

[Awww...] and

2) Our president's visage superimposed on a rainbow background. Wonder what that signified?

I've driven this route weekly for more than two (2) years.

Exited area ASAP. I gotta say, though, that they have cleaned up the place. There used to be open field parking, and now that seems fenced off. I don't want to know what's going on there.

Can't wait until this spectacle is completed :)

Da, ia sam vse napisal

Douglas Knight said...

Steve, you sound so certain when you make these assertions. But previously, you asserted that speeches are after the fact bribes, to encourage current office holders.

If you believe Hillary that she will retire from government after 2012, it doesn't make sense as an on-going bribe.

Finally, what happened in Libya? Was it the work of Hillary, or was she just trying to avoid the appearance of the UK acting alone?

Anonymous said...

Elmer Gantry is doing well

jwbs said...

I was deployed to the Mediteranean for Libya. It was an amazing mix of militaries from many nations. It was also a huge waste of time. I made a lot of money from it - over $9k a month as a mechanic.

Business is booming for undeclared wars in tourist locations.

(We spent most of our time drinking wine, enjoying the local cuisine, and having cookouts while watching American sporting events on big screen TVs. Thanks, taxpayers)

Anonymous said...

Bill Clinton's legacy is one of the most overrated myths in modern American history. He became president at the dawn of internet commerce, nothing more - nothing less. Harold Stassen would have left a good presidential legacy under those conditions.

Based on how badly Clinton's successors screwed up, he should at least get credit for not fumbling the ball. What more could you ask of a president during peace time?

Matthew said...

Ex Post Facto Bribery.

As plain as that. The Obama Admin has prosecuted few finance industry hotshots. Why? Because many of the paid speeches (esp. from Clinton's first 5 years after leaving office) were from Goldman Sachs and similar companies.

These groups don't just pay Bill Clinton because his wife is senator or SecState. They pay him as a way of signalling to current officeholders that, if their bidding is done, there is money to be made.

Obama keeps calling Romney greedy. Romney should give him an an ultimatum: he'll release ten years worth of tax returns if Obama and his wife sign a contract pledging to donate any honoraria above, say, $500k/year to charity.

Obummer would be stumped.

"Based on how badly Clinton's successors screwed up, he should at least get credit for not fumbling the ball."

Clinton appointed Ginsburg and Breyer to the SCOTUS.

Under Clinton, illegal immigration became truly massive.

The housing bubble began under Clinton.

And, of course, he failed to kill Osama Bin Laden - a trillion dollar mistake.

Yep, besides that it was all unicorns and Skittles.

Anonymous said...

What do you mean not fumbling the ball? Dotcom bubble, remember this one? I suppose it almost forgotten now but at the time it was declared the Worst-Thing-Since-Depression and the End-Of-America-As-We-Know-It.

Come to thing of it, the real estate bubble also started under him. So he started two bubbles but skipped the responsibility for either one and left his successors holding the bag.

Anonymous said...

Why the fuck would anyone believe Hilary?

Anonymous said...

Clinton at least had brains, even if he doesn't have them any more.

The last two presidents have not approached his intellect.

Not to say that Clinton didn't let us all down; he did.

But he didn't screw up majorly.

I agree with the Serbia comment, by the way. The 2008 economic collapse was Bush II's attempt at getting even, by bombing Suburbia.


Truth said...

"Obama keeps calling Romney greedy. Romney should give him an an ultimatum: he'll release ten years worth of tax returns if Obama and his wife sign a contract pledging to donate any honoraria above, say, $500k/year to charity."

I truly don't see what one, remotely has to do with the other. Romney is the one that has hammered home his point that "making money is good."

jody said...

"He was our greatest modern president"

he allowed bin laden to attack the US, so he's not all that great.

he also deliberately disabled the INS from interdicting the mexican invasion, under doris meissner. then extolled the virtues of the coming european american minority, to raucous applause. then bombed slavs for trying to resist being overrun by muslims.

not exactly a laudable ideological position, unless you are a far left liberal.

he was decent in many other ways however.

Aaron B. said...

"[Clinton] became president at the dawn of internet commerce, nothing more - nothing less."

Bingo. In his first years, bankruptcies were climbing, and his tax increases were all set to hammer the economy. Then the tech boom and the mortgage bubble gave everyone gobs of Monopoly money to spend for a few years.

We were just lucky that nothing serious happened during his presidency -- like the first WTC bombing failing -- so he could afford to get blowjobs while ordering cruise missile attacks when he needed a distraction from his peccadilloes. And to say that he's smarter than his successors isn't exactly high praise -- that's probably true of 90% of the commenters here.

Anonymous said...

Well, Clinton has twice the smarts of Obama. Its a shame that Hillary did win.

Dutch Boy said...

These speaking fees are the delayed swag the elite offer up to politicians who toed their line while in office (e..g., the abolition of Glass-Steagall).

Dutch Boy said...

Things have been so miserable since Clinton left office that this former figure of fun is now a distinguished elder statesman. Reminds me of Suetonius' theory that Tiberias named Caligula as his successor so that the Roman people would miss him.

Charlesz Martel said...

I know people who are Republicans who are proud to display photograps of themselves with Clinton- it's a staus thing, helps them in business and with women, who LOVED him (another reason why female suffrage is one of the worst ideas of the modern era).

I am extremely tuned in to certain local politics in my corrupt town. I've had to bribe politicians. The national scene is handled the same way. The bribery now is done after the fact, to avoid breaking laws and being prosecuted. It is almost impossible to prove a quid-pro-quo if it's done by payment for a speech after the person is out of office. First, no-one cares enough to prosecute (Clinton sold nuclear warhead secrets to the Chinese for campaign cash- WD45 model, IIRC). Remember, even though one guy is out of office, his friends can make life difficult if someone welches on the deal. Second, it's a career destroyer for anyone who tries to prosecute after the perp-s left office, especially if he's going after a democrat. I mean, $700,000 from a speech to a local publisher in Nigeria? Really? On what planet does that not seem absurd? Nigeria has oil- who knows what that money was really used for- or where it came from!
Read Alex Daoud's book on his political life- "Sins of SOuth Beach". A $50,000 bribe was paid to a city councilman to get the permit for a strip club. The story is public, and the club is still there. It's simply the cost of doing business. Successful friends of mine regularly make "campaign contributions" to both sides- so they have a guy who can pull strings for them when necessary, and also so the government will leave them alone. These are people worth 70- 300 million. Spending $20,000 an election cycle is no big deal. That's the way it really works in America today- and most other places I've been.
Larry Flynt said it best, in his autobiography- I'm paraphrasing here: "The strange thing is not that politicians can be bought, it's for how little that's surprising".
As Jonathon Swift put it: "I do not wonder to see men wicked, but I often wonder to see them not ashamed.".

NOTA said...

I strongly suspect speaking fees for presidents are done for reasons other than bribery, even of the subtle kind. By contrast, I suspect speaknig fees for journalists are a massive source of corruption, probably comparable in effect to lobbying jobs for congressmen who leave office.

Anonymous said...

He had bombs dropped on Serbia for 78 days, a nation that didn't threaten or harm America in any way; past, present or future. How would Americans like it if Serbian warplanes dropped bombs on their homes and cities for 78 days? All the bridges over the Danube leading to the Serbian capital were knocked down. How would Americans like it if Serbs knocked out all the bridges over the Potomac? Kosovo had been a part of Serbia since the 1300's, a lot longer then America has controlled the southwest. What right did America have to decide what Serbia's boundaries should be? How would it seem if China bombed America late this century when Mexicans launch a separatist war in the border states and America tries to keep its national territory intact?

Anonymous said...

By the way, whatever happened to Monica?

NOTA said...


Last I heard, she got a Masters in economics from the LSE. Though she could cure cancer, and that would be the *second* line in her obituary.

Mr. Anon said...

"DirkY said...

He was our greatest modern president: no major wars, kept taxes high and spending low, generally meritocratic appointments to the executive and judicial branches. Biggest black mark by far was bombing Serbia."

Kept spending low? Spending hasn't been low since the Kennedy administration. Meritocratic appointments? Janet Reno as attorney general? Robert Rubin (of Goldman-Sachs) as Treasury Secretary (May as well appoint a fox to be Secretary of Henhouses)? That ridiculous little dwarf, Robert Reich, as Secretary of Labor? Breyer and Ginsburg for the supreme court?

Clinton never started anything bad, but he continued and amplified everything bad that was already going on: outsourcing and de-industrialization, massive immigration, the creeping police-state nature of our government, ceding authority to international bodies, the celebration of the impending minority status of whites, the primacy of the financial sector.

George Will once remarked, and I agree with him, that: Clinton was not the worst President we've had, but he is the worst man to be President. And that has not changed. Both Bush and Obama have been worse Presidents, but they are both better men. As many here have pointed out - Clinton's reputation is an accident of history. He was President during a relatively quite period.

Clinton is a a swine, both in private and public life. He is a user of other people (even more so than most politicians) and a shamelessly opportunistic liar. I remember when he signed the Defence-of-Marriage-Act (which act I agreed with). While he was signing it - during the very act of signing it - he denounced it as divisive and wrong. WTF? If a President thinks a law is bad, he is supposed to veto it - that's why the Constitution grants him that authority. If it's as bad as he said it was (while he was actually signing it!), then why did he sign it? (answer: he wanted to get re-elected).

I don't like G.W. Bush or Obama, but I don't think that they are completely bad. I don't like Jesse Jackson, but even he has some redeeming qualities.

Clinton has none. He is an absolutely amoral louse. If he were portrayed in a movie, you'd have to get the guy who played the mayor in Red Dawn to do him justice. He is a pustule.

And yes, those speaking fees are bribes - ex-post-facto bribes. I'm sure that other politicians have noticed, and are paying attention.