Friday, July 11, 2014

I must be the most naive... in America. No, really, I must be.

I used to read about the eye-popping sums people like Bill and Hillary Clinton would receive for speaking and think to myself, "Who in their right mind would pay six figures to hear some blowhard mouth a bunch of bromides and platitudes about 'hard work' and 'playing by the rules' and 'blah, blah, blah'?"

Then I would turn the page.

But today I read Scot Lehigh's opinion piece in the Boston Globe, "Hillary’s speeches should be free," and slapped myself in the forehead (my emphasis):

But one doesn’t have to be a Hillary detractor to grimace over the hundreds of thousands of dollars Clinton has taken to speak at colleges and universities since stepping down as secretary of state. Details are murky — transparency isn’t the order of the day in Hillaryland — but according to The Washington Post, she has given paid speeches at a half dozen or more schools in the last year, including the University of Connecticut, where a donors’ fund ponied up $251,250 in April; and UCLA, which paid $300,000 in March. 

Clinton says all of her fees go to the Clintons’ family foundation. No matter. Huge paydays for academic addresses are unseemly, even if no tuition dollars are involved. If the appearance is underwritten by deep-pocketed donors, directly or through a lecture series, those benefactors have likely bought themselves access.

I've never been a big fan of the Clintons (a little too oily for my taste), but I can't imagine giving the keys back to that other bunch. So I'll probably vote for Hillary in 2016. But Lehigh is right, "Clinton should forgo paid speeches to private sector groups and speak for free on campuses."

Who owns this woman?

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