ANALYSIS: TRUE. All The Clintons Are Overpaid Divas.
We all know the story of the rock band that demanded M&Ms candy backstage with all the brown pieces removed. That story was true, and the band was Van Halen.
But musicians aren’t the only ones to make ridiculous demands when they appear for an event. The entire Clinton family has their own lists of demands and special treatment they require in addition to their outsized speaking fees.
Bill Clinton changed the game when it comes to former presidents and their speaking fees. Before him, former commander-in-chiefs would receive about $60,000 for a speech (most of them didn’t need the money anyway). But Bill wanted more, so when he signed on with the Harry Walker Agency after he left the White House, he and his handlers demanded $100,000 per speech.
They got it. The money was for six speeches in 2002 at the Foothill-Deanza Community College District, the University of California-Davis and a for-profit organization. In order to pay for Bill’s high fees, the community college and university sold tickets and cut back spending on other speakers and entertainers.
To be clear, none of these groups regretted paying for Bill to speak, but the process of actually getting him there was frustrating.
For one thing, Bill’s staff required approval for all questions asked of the former president, and even provided suggested questions such as: “Is the world a better place now than when you entered politics, with a view to making a difference?”
Gee, I wonder how he answered. It seems even Bill was unhappy with how boring and generic the questions were during his first speech, and allowed a tougher question during the next one. It was about his pardon of Marc Rich, who had been indicted on tax evasions. While Bill was responding, one of his advisors came up to the moderator “whacked” him on the back of his head, and reportedly said: “Get him off the stage; he is dying out there.”
Bill also charged a $1400 phone bill (created in a single day) and a $700 dinner for two. He demanded a private jet to fly him from San Francisco to UC-Davis, even though it was only 70 miles away.
His speaking agency called these “reasonable expenses.”
I presume if Hillary’s elected, he’ll keep doing this for an even bigger fee, and in front of groups who want a friend in the White House.