Sunday, 30 April 2017

Is $60 Million Really Not Enough for the Obamas?

THE WASHINGTON POST: In collecting $400,000 from a Wall Street investment firm to make a single speech, Barack Obama is following in the Gucci-clad footsteps of past presidents. Ronald Reagan landed a $2 million speaking gig in Japan. George W. Bush, on his way out, announced it was time to “replenish the ol’ coffers.” Bill and Hillary Clinton reported making more than $235 million after leaving the White House.

But to acknowledge that Obama has plenty of precedent on his side is not to say that his choice is wise. Indeed, it’s unfortunate.

Obama’s propulsion onto the lecture circuit arrives at a moment of populist disgust with Wall Street greed and the Washington swamp (can doors revolve in swamps?). It comes after a campaign in which Hillary Clinton’s Goldman Sachs speaking fees became a symbol of entitled elitism. So imagine the powerful message Obama would have sent — the reverse precedent — had he chosen to renounce this road to riches. » | Ruth Marcus, Columnist | Friday, April 28, 2017