Scott Brown proves that the real money is in being a former president (or his family)

This post has been corrected.

Former-and-maybe-future Sen. Scott Brown (R) released financial documents on Friday that outline his income for 2013 and 2014. He and his wife earned a combined $474,080 in 2013 which, Brown's New Hampshire Senate campaign was quick to note, was down over $128,000 from 2012 when he was still serving in the Senate.

Much of the Browns' 2014 income was thanks to the former Senator's corporate consulting gigs, although not from the mysterious Global Digital Solutions which became a campaign liability earlier this year. What struck us, though, was how Brown's income compared with other political names that have recently been in the news: specifically, the Clintons.


Brown (Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

For example, Scott Brown was paid $108,000 and change in 2013 by Fox News as a paid contributor. That salary was almost half a million shy of what Chelsea Clinton reportedly made from NBC News in 2012. Fox News got a lot more for its money, too. Clinton only appeared on the network an estimated nine times between 2011 and 2013, according to Talking Points Memo. That's over $66,000 per appearance, assuming that the $600,000 salary covered all nine segments.

By contrast, Scott Brown appeared on Fox News 24 times in 2013, according to our skim of Nexis records. That's a much more economical $4,500 per appearance. (Most of Brown's Fox appearances were on Neil Cavuto and Lou Dobbs' shows.)

Brown also didn't make as much as Chelsea's parents. In Brown's financial disclosures are listed a series of speaking engagements, most of which are in the $4,000 to $10,000 range. That's about one-twentieth of what Hillary Clinton reportedly made for speeches last year. Former president Bill Clinton puts that to shame. According to CNN, Clinton has earned $750,000 for a single speech in the past. If you get 30 minutes of Scott Brown for $4,000, you can get ten seconds of Bill Clinton for the same price.

Being a former president is understandably lucrative. Being a former senator is hit-or-miss depending on a variety of factors, many of which might be inscrutable.

The disclosure that Brown's opponents are probably going to focus on the most, however, come in his listed liabilities. Among them, a home equity line of credit for a home in New Hampshire -- a liability incurred in 2014. It's paired with a mortgage issued by a bank in Massachusetts in 2012 -- when he was that state's senator.

Correction: This post originally indicated that the 2012 mortgage was for another house. The campaign clarified that it was not.

Philip Bump writes about politics for The Fix. He previously wrote for The Wire, the news blog of The Atlantic magazine. He has contributed to The Daily Beast, The Atlantic, The Daily, and the Huffington Post. Philip is based in New York City.
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