Hillary Clinton isn’t alone: Former politicians rake it in on speaker circuit

July 11, 2013


When a super PAC launched an anti-Hillary Clinton Web site 22 days after Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) voiced her support of Clinton's possible 2016 bid, speculation on the former Secretary of State becoming the first female president increased sharply. All the while, Clinton remained mum on the rumors.

Clinton is finally getting behind a podium and speaking but not about a presidential bid quite yet. See, it's summertime, and the speaking is easy. Since she's left office, Clinton has taken a note from her husband and entered the paid speaking circuit. It was recently reported that Hillary Clinton received over $200,000 for speaking to everyone from apartment complex developers in Dallas to private equity managers in Los Angeles.

Other 2016 hopefuls are collecting speaking gigs around the country as well. Best case scenario: It's good money and reinforces a public persona come campaign time. Worst case scenario: It's good practice for if they lose. If the politicians below are any example, public appearances for former politicians is good business.

Bill Clinton, former president -- $750,000

For his highest-paid gig, President Clinton was paid $750,000 for an address to the telecom company Ericsson in Hong Kong. In the past 11 years since his presidency, he has earned $89 million from paid speeches averaging $189,000 per event, according to CNN.


Rudy Giuliani, former New York City mayor -- $270,000

When he was still campaigning for the U.S. presidency in 2007, Giuliani submitted a financial disclosure report that listed a total $9.2 million earned for public speaking engagements in 13 months. According to MSN, his highest-paid event was at a private equity firm, Sage Capital Group, in 2005.

(Getty Images)

Al Gore, former vice president -- $156,000

After leaving public office, Gore reentered the public sphere with a powerpoint that became a pretty big hit. A half-hour lecture at a fundraiser held in London's Royal Courts of Justice brought the former VP $156,000, according to MSN. His speaker's contract from 2007 with the Harry Walker agency, which also represents another former vice president Dick Cheney, requires a payment of "$100,000, plus travel, hotel, security, and per diem expenses."


George W. Bush, former president --  $110,000

W's made about $110,000 per address, says Yahoo! News. He's earned at least $15 million since he left office in 2009. His approval ratings have seen an upturn recently, which may bode well for him in terms of speaking requests.

(Getty Images)

Dick Cheney, former vice president -- $75,000

Cheney earns around $75,000 per event, reports Politico. Both he and his daughter Liz are represented by the same speaking agency though Liz receives $20,000. As a possible senatorial candidate in Wyoming though, she might be worth more in the future.


Mitt Romney, 2012 Republican presidential candidate -- $40,000-60,000

The same year he joked about being recently unemployed, Mitt Romney made over $362,000 in speaking fees, according to USA Today. He made around $40,000-$60,000 per appearance at various financial and health-care organizations.


Howard Dean, Democratic National Committee Chairman -- $20,000

Howard Dean, a one-time presidential front-runner in the 2004 election has expressed interest in the 2016 Democratic nomination. Salon reported in 2011 that Dean has been paid nearly $20,000 for speeches as short as 10 minutes on behalf of Mujahedin-e Khalq, an "an obscure and controversial Iranian militant group that is aggressively lobbying the Obama administration to remove it from the official list of terrorist organizations."

Ruth Tam is a writer based in Washington, D.C. Follow her on Twitter: @ruthetam.
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Ed O'Keefe · July 11, 2013