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Obama's Getting $400K for His First Private Speaking Engagement

The former president is scheduled to speak at a healthcare conference for a Wall Street financial firm in September.

by Lauren Messman
Apr 25 2017, 7:14pm

Photo via Obama White House Flickr account

After kitesurfing with Richard Branson and talking to youth leaders in Chicago, former president Obama has agreed to speak at an upcoming private engagement for a financial firm—for the going rate of $400,000, FOX Business reports.

Obama has reportedly agreed to talk at a healthcare conference for Cantor Fitzgerald LP—a Wall Street investment bank—in September. According to FOX Business, he's scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the luncheon, but the firm is just waiting to work out all the details before making an announcement.

Obama, who condemned Wall Street after the 2008 financial crisis, may face some of the same criticism that Hillary Clinton did for giving private speeches for financial firms prior to her campaign. During his presidency, Obama referred to some bakers as "fat cats" and slammed their "irresponsible actions" that led to the Great Recession. Now he's accepting almost half a million dollars for a single Wall Street speaking engagement, double what Clinton was charging.

Still, it's pretty normal for former politicians to charge such high fees for private speeches. Former president Bill Clinton was once paid $750,000 for a single speech, and George W. Bush reportedly charges between $100,000 and $150,000. Even Sarah Palin managed to pull in $100,000 for a speech, according to Politico.

But that all pales in comparison to what companies were shelling out to hear Trump talk—a whopping $1.5 million in some cases. Now, listening to Trump say "big league" (or is it "bigly"?) is just something the public gets to enjoy all the time for free.