There has been a lot of discussion (driven heavily by great reporting from our Post colleagues) about how much money Hillary Clinton gets for her speaking engagements. Spoiler, if you haven't heard: It's a lot. Getting Hillary Clinton to speak to your school or business group will run you in excess of $250,000 in some circumstances, which is a bit more than we have to spend.
But there's another question. All things being equal, do people want to hear Clinton speak? Why spend $250,000, after all, if your audience would rather hear from someone else, someone with a different set of experiences and stories.
With that in mind, we undertook an unscientific survey. We asked 10 people who they'd rather hear speak, Clinton or one of 10 other people that we selected fairly randomly. The results, as they say, might surprise you. Or maybe not, who knows. Just scroll down.
So here's who we asked about.
- Marina Abramovic. A conceptual artist perhaps best known for not speaking.
- LeVar Burton. Actor, reader, visor-wearer.
- Tyler the Creator. Rambunctious rapper.
- Mel Gibson. Rambunctious actor.
- Ariana Grande. Pop sensation and one-time Nickelodeon star.
- Mike Gravel. 2008 Democratic presidential race also-also-also-also-also-ran.
- Indra Nooyi. CEO of Pepsi.
- Martha Stewart. CEO of everything else.
- Andrew WK. CEO of partying.
- Bill Clinton. Famous husband.
The rules we posed to our as-diverse-as-we-could-get-on-short-notice-on-July-3 group of participants were simple: Pick one of the two names to identify who you'd rather hear speak. If you don't know the person, too bad. Pick anyway.
They did. And here's who they chose. If the slot shows Hillary Clinton, they picked Clinton. If it doesn't, they didn't.
Pitted against five of the contenders, Clinton got more votes. She beat Mel Gibson the most easily, perhaps unsurprisingly. She ended up tied with Andrew WK, perhaps surprisingly. But our (again, unscientific) pool of respondents would rather hear from Tyler the Creator, LeVar Burton, Martha Stewart and that other Clinton. Burton crushed Clinton; even the guy who picked Clinton in all 10 match-ups said that he was tempted by LeVar.
So if you're looking to save money, colleges and corporations, why not consider Tyler, LeVar or Andrew? They probably cost less, and a random group of people (who I know and who largely work in the media) would rather hear them anyway. (Bill, we'll note, won't save you any money.)
If you really want to get outside the box, we also asked our 10 volunteers who they'd like to hear speak if they could pick anyone at all. Their answers:
- Anne Hutchinson
- Bruce Springsteen
- Chuck D
- Dave Chappelle
- Desmond Tutu
- Han Solo
- Malcolm X
- Maya Angelou
- Noam Chomsky
- Whitney Houston
Several of those people will likely be hard to book.