Friday, September 21, 2012

Obama's Clinton Administration Connection

Former president Bill Clinton stepped up the pace of his paid speaking engagements in 2009, bringing his total haul from these speeches to $65 million since leaving office in 2001.

“According to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's annual financial disclosure report released Monday, the former president earned $7.5 million from 36 paid speeches last year, up from the $5.7 million he earned for 25 speeches in 2008….Almost two-thirds of President Clinton's earnings from 365 paid speaking engagements since leaving the White House have come from overseas. Since 2001, he has earned $40.1 million from 197 speeches in 45 foreign countries...The $7.5 million Clinton earned in speeches in 2009 tops by almost $2 million the amount he earned the previous year...Since Hillary Clinton suspended her presidential campaign on June 7, 2008, her husband has earned $12.3 million in speaking fees for 56 events...

“When President Obama first nominated then-Sen. Clinton, his former rival, to be the nation's top diplomat in December 2008, the former president agreed to a number of steps to guard against possible conflicts of interest...Secretary Clinton's financial report also indicates the couple owns assets valued at between $10.8 million and $51.8 million, not including the value of their primary residence…”

--from a June 29, 2010 CNN Politics blog post

Obama’s Clinton Administration Connections

Former Democratic President Bill Clinton has been collecting a lot of money from speaking in foreign countries since he moved out of the White House in 2001 and the former Arkansas governor’s wife, Hillary Clinton, began using one of New York State’s seats in the U.S. Senate to unsuccessfully seek the 2008 Democratic Party presidential nomination. Coincidentally, after his wife was appointed U.S. Secretary of State by Barack Obama, the amount of money that Bill Clinton collected annually from his speaking engagements jumped by nearly $2 million between 2008 and 2009.

During both the Democratic Clinton Administration and the Democratic Obama Administration economic inequality in the United States has continued to increase. One reason might be because there was not much change in who got appointed to official positions in the U.S. federal government between 2009 and 2012-- when Obama was in the White House-- compared to who got appointed to official positions when the Clintons were in the White House. As Newsweek columnist Jonathan Alter recalled in his 2010 book The Promise: President Obama, Year One:

“…The so-called plum book, published every 4 years by Congress lists…about 7,000 political positions available for a new president to appoint…For the sub-Cabinet and other positions requiring Senate confirmation…about 40 percent of the Obama appointees had worked for the Clinton administration…with 5 Cabinet-rank appointments…true Clinton-era veterans…When Congresswoman Barbara Lee, chair of the Congressional black Caucus, complained that not enough of the caucus’s recommendations were getting hired, Obama was…unmoved…”

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