The Clintons have brought in over $153 million in speaking fees – with some of the highest being engagement with the very same Wall Street banks they criticize. However “dead broke” they may have been when Bill left the White House, that certainly isn’t the case now.Barack Obama is now back in the public eye – and he’s cashing in on the speaking circuit himself. Obama has agreed to give a speech at a conference run by Wall Street firm Cantor Fitzgerald. The price tag? A whopping $400,000 – seven times the median household income, and the size of his annual salary as president.
Not much can be said about the policies that Bernie Sanders proposes, but his integrity on this matter can at least be complimented. As you’ll remember, it was he who made Hillary’s speeches an issue during the Democrat primary, as he pressured Hillary to release transcripts for a $700,000 speech she gave to Goldman Sachs. She never did.
Appearing on “CBS This Morning,” Sanders called Obama’s decision “unfortunate,” adding that “President Obama’s a friend of mine, I think he, as president, represented our country with integrity and intelligence, but I think at a time when people are so frustrated with the power of Wall Street and the big-money interests, I think it is unfortunate that President Obama is doing this.”
Elizabeth Warren, another critic of Wall Street, said much of the same when appearing on SiriusXM’s “Alter Family Politics.” In addition to stating that she too was troubled, she used it as an opportunity to attack money in politics as a whole. “I describe it as a snake that slithers through Washington, and that it shows up in so many different ways her.”
Meanwhile, not everyone on the Left side of the aisle was intellectually consistent on this….
Well, as comedian Jeremy McLellean joked, there’s a silver lining to all this: Obama has to give a third of it to Trump’s government.
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]