POLITICO continues its history of shameless water-carrying for the Clintons and the Democrat party. Now that the egregious grifting of the Clintons is out in the open, the last remaining defense is harnessing the argumentum ad populam logical fallacy to what is little more that a shakedown operation to give them cover. POLITICO does not disappoint: On talk circuit, George W. Bush makes millions but few waves.
As critics over the years have chided Bill Clinton and also his wife for the industriousness with which they have pursued opportunities to get paid a lot of money in this manner, Bush, too, has been doing exactly what he said he would be doing.
Since 2009, POLITICO has found, Bush has given at least 200 paid speeches and probably many more, typically pocketing $100,000 to $175,000 per appearance. The part-time work, which rarely requires more than an hour on stage, has earned him tens of millions of dollars.
Relative to the Clintons, though, he’s attracted considerably less attention, almost always doing his paid public speaking in private, in convention centers and hotel ballrooms, resorts and casinos, from Canada to Asia, from New York to Miami, from all over Texas to Las Vegas a bunch, playing his part in what has become a lucrative staple of the modern post-presidency.
See what they did here. Both Bush and Clinton give speeches but only Clinton has been criticized. And, all ex-presidents do it.
What the article does is ignore why Clinton’s speeches have drawn attention. I have no objection to people making money. Personally, I can’t imagine why anyone would want to set through another hour or so of Bill Clinton. I lived through eight years of his presidency and found that to be quite sufficient. What is being noted is both the scale of the Clinton speechifying:
According to a CNN analysis of 12 years of federal financial records, former President Bill Clinton had his most active and profitable year on the lecture circuit in 2012, delivering 73 speeches for $17 million from mid-January 2012 through mid-January 2013. That brought his total haul in speaking fees since leaving the White House to $106 million. His previous record for annual speech income was $13.4 million in 2011.
And the fact that people who engaged Bill Clinton for speeches mysteriously ended up getting favors from the Obama administration.
Compare and contrast this with the number of sweetheart deals awarded to organizations that had contracted with President Bush for speeches.
This is not a case of “everyone doing it.” This is not a “lucrative staple of the modern post-presidency.” This is garden variety graft, corruption, and influence peddling. POLITICO should stop trying to blow smoke up our butts and do something that vaguely resembles journalism.