Obama joins presidential tradition of cashing in after White House
Barack Obama gave his first public speech since he left office yesterday. While this one might have been a freebie, Fox Business reported that he's already booked for a $400K gig in September — almost double Hillary Clinton's controversial speaking fee. Obama will talk about health care at a Wall Street conference put on by Cantor Fitzgerald LP.
But Obama certainly isn't the first POTUS to cash in on the presidency, and he hasn't set any record.
- Gerald Ford was the first President to make money from speeches, charging as much as $40,000 per speech after 1977, according to ThoughtCo.
- Jimmy Carter did not take up speech offers often, but at one time had $50,000 listed as a speaking fee, according to presidential historian Mark K. Updegrove.
- Ronald Reagan was once paid $2 million for two speeches in Japan, NYT reported, noting that was not his usual fee.
- George H. W. Bush didn't like speaking in public often, but George W. told writer Robert Draper that his dad made about $50,000 to $75,000 per speech.
- Bill Clinton was paid $750,000 for a speech in 2011 for a Swedish telecom firm, according to ABC. Hillary Clinton became the center of scandal during the campaign when it was revealed she charged $250,000 in speaking fees at a fundraiser, according to ABC News. Most of the Clintons' speeches cost around $200,000.
- George W. Bush gave around 200 speeches for $100-$175,000 each after leaving office, Politico reported.
- Donald Trump was the highest paid speaker even before he became president. In 2006 and 2007, he was paid $1.5 million per speech (he participated in 17) at The Learning Annex's "real estate wealth expos," according to Forbes.