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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.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
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As recently as 2004, the Obama family enjoyed merely the kind of upper middle class income ($250k) that many Americans could imagine themselves making if a few breaks had gone their way. This comprehensibility of the Obama family financial situation can put them at a PR disadvantage relative to the Clintons, whose finances are evidently way, way up in the Davos Man stratosphere, as Bill jets around with Ron Burkle and the like, introducing the odd mining magnate to his close personal friend the Grand Khan of Boratstan.

For example, consider the Obama house controversy revolving around Tony Rezko purchasing the adjoining empty lot for the full asking price at the same moment the Obamas were buying their house from the same seller for $300k off the asking price. I could imagine scenarios where Rezko’s “investment” in Senator Obama ranged all the way from $0 to a few hundred thousand dollars, but my best guest would be around $70,000. (This assumes that two participants in an honest deal would have split the discount off the list price proportional to their investments. Instead, the fixer apparently let the politician have the entire discount.)

Man, wouldn’t it be nice if some old buddy of yours slipped you $70k in return for all the favors you’ve done for him and will do for him over the years? That would be great! Or wouldn’t it be awesome if your spouse got a raise of something like $150k per year, plus a signing bonus of almost $50k because you’ve now got even more power over her employer? Can you imagine all the things you could do with that kind of extra money?

Yes, I can.

So, it’s easy for me to get in a huff over the Obama’s relatively human scale corner-cutting, while Clinton-level shenanigans are just the way of the world.

I really can’t grasp the kind of money Mr. Clinton rakes in for things like giving speeches to companies whose profits are heavily dependent upon votes by Senators like, say, Mrs. Clinton, such as the $250,000 that Citigroup paid Mr. Clinton for one speech in 2004. Now, Citigroup is currently desirous of Congress voting for a massive bailout of the financial industry, but I’m sure that kind of eventuality never crossed Citigroup’s mind when hiring Mr. Clinton. Instead, they clearly must have done a cost-benefit analysis of the value of Mr. Clinton’s oratory and saw that his wisdom was indeed worth $100 per second.

A long time ago I reported to an entrepreneur who for awhile had his own jet (I am told that that’s the dividing line between the merely affluent and the really rich), but riding on it was kind of uncomfortable because the thing was so obviously hugely expensive relative to his ample but still finite net worth (for example, you have to employ two pilots full time).

So, even though I’ve been around private jet-rich people in the past, the idea of me ever being that rich just seems oppressive, with two pilots sitting around all day at the local airport drinking coffee, waiting for me to come up with some place to zoom off to where I can make enough money to keep paying them to sit around and drink coffee while I dream up more places to go to make more money to pay them. Yeeesh. So, I never think about having that kind of money.

But if you are Bill Clinton, you don’t even have to bother owning a jet because zillionaires are constantly offering to lend you their private jets for free.

But I do think now and then about the 8,000 stock options I had in a company where I worked. They had a strike price of 14. I’d had them for years, but the stock was usually trading a little below $14. One day in the 1990s, I checked the stock price on a whim for the first time in months and it had gone up to 19. Wow, I should pick up the phone and cash cash them in for $40,000! But, then, I had an even better idea — I’ll just wait until the stock hits 20. A nice round number! It’ll probably get there by tomorrow. But, as I watched the computer screen, the stock slipped to 18 7/8, 18 3/4, and so on. Within a few weeks, it was underwater and never resurfaced.

$40,000. Gone.

That’s the kind of number I can dwell upon, like that $70,000 I’m guessing was Obama’s cut from Rezko.

Bill Clinton doesn’t get out of bed for $70,000.

This whole Clinton-Obama financial scandal comparison makes me feel like some poor 19th Century Russian peasant. That the czar has rooms full of rubies and diamonds is simply the natural order of things, but that my neighbor has a cow while I have none is an outrage.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: Clinton, Obama 
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Harvard sociologist Orlando Patterson is quite worked up in the NYT over that Hillary Clinton “Red Phone” television spot.

You know the one (as explained by the NY Daily News):

“It’s 3 a.m., and your children are safe and asleep,” a grim-voiced announcer intones over footage of angelic young kids in their beds.

“But there’s a phone in the White House, and it’s ringing,” the menacing voice-over continues.

“Your vote will decide who answers that call,” the announcer says. “Who do you want answering the phone?”

Patterson uses his super racism decoder ring to explain the subliminal hidden message:

ON first watching Hillary Clinton’s recent “It’s 3 a.m” advertisement, I was left with an uneasy feeling that something was not quite right — something that went beyond my disappointment that she had decided to go negative. Repeated watching of the ad on YouTube increased my unease. I realized that I had only too often in my study of America’s racial history seen images much like these, and the sentiments to which they allude.

I have spent my life studying the pictures and symbols of racism and slavery, and when I saw the Clinton ad’s central image — innocent sleeping children and a mother in the middle of the night at risk of mortal danger — it brought to my mind scenes from the past. I couldn’t help but think of D. W. Griffith’s “Birth of a Nation,” the racist movie epic that helped revive the Ku Klux Klan, with its portrayal of black men lurking in the bushes around white society. The danger implicit in the phone ad — as I see it — is that the person answering the phone might be a black man, someone who could not be trusted to protect us from this threat.

The ad could easily have removed its racist sub-message by including images of a black child, mother or father — or by stating that the danger was external terrorism. Instead, the child on whom the camera first focuses is blond.

And we know what that means …

Two other sleeping children, presumably in another bed, are not blond, but they are dimly lighted, leaving them ambiguous. Still it is obvious that they are not black — both, in fact, seem vaguely Latino.

They should have shown all the children sleeping in one bed with all the lights on, and they should all have been different races. It would be like Angelina Jolie’s house — gotta catch ‘em all!

By the way, wouldn’t “Vaguely Latino” be a good name for a rock band? No, you’re right, it wouldn’t.

Finally, Hillary Clinton appears, wearing a business suit at 3 a.m., answering the phone.

Well, Anyway, the question I had about Hillary’s ad must be the reason they showed Hillary fully dressed and sitting at her desk at 3 AM:

When the Red Phone rings in the President’s bedroom at 3 AM, With President Obama, I presume it would be Mrs. Obama. And we can forecast Michelle’s advice with some degree of confidence:

“Barack, honey, I have to be up early for my personal trainer before I chair that crucial meeting of the National Diversity Sensitivity Outreach Relations Commission and I just don’t know how I’ll manage it all, so, whoever it is, just nuke ‘em so I can get some sleep. And while you’re at it, could you drop one on Princeton, New Jersey, too? Make sure it’s big enough to take out the Educational Testing Service as well.

But with Hillary, doesn’t this ad just re-open that question that we’ve all tried hard not to think about?

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: 2008 Election, Clinton, Obama 
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Now that there’s still a chance that Hillary Clinton could wind up in the White House, I want to ask: Does anybody have a clue how the White House would function with a First Gentleman who is also an ex-President? Doesn’t this seem like the premise for a farce? It writes itself!

I presume F.G. Bill wouldn’t attend the President’s first-thing-in-the-morning National Security briefings — but only because he didn’t get up in time for them the whole first year he was President

Exactly what would Bill’s role be? Pillow talk advisor? But do they sleep together? I don’t know. This is something that I haven’t wanted to know, but it seems like the kind of thing the voters should know in order to make an informed choice. (Similarly, what is the financial relationship between Hillary and Bill, who is always jetting off to Boratstan to introduce Rich Mining Honcho X to President-for-Life Y. Do they file their taxes jointly? Oh, wait, Hillary has been too busy to release her taxes…)

Granted, it’s unseemly for the voters to have to know that kind of thing, but, in the big picture, it’s unseemly, even banana republicy, for the country to elect the term-limited ex-leader’s wife to be the new Glorious Leader.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: 2008 Election, Clinton 
Steve Sailer
About Steve Sailer

Steve Sailer is a journalist, movie critic for Taki's Magazine, columnist, and founder of the Human Biodiversity discussion group for top scientists and public intellectuals.

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