April 7th, 2008
03:00 PM ET
7 years ago

The selling of the ex-presidency

 Ex-presidents George H.W. Bush, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton have stayed in the public eye since leaving office.
Ex-presidents George H.W. Bush, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton have stayed in the public eye since leaving office.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Shortly before leaving the White House in 1829, John Quincy Adams reportedly said, "There is nothing more pathetic in life than a former president."

If he had had a crystal ball, Adams might have tweaked that statement to say there is nothing more lucrative in life than to be a former president.

Last Friday, we learned that the Clintons have made a whopping $109 million since 2001. Bill Clinton has brought in almost $52 million from speeches generally going for $250,000 a pop.

Full story


Filed under: Politics
soundoff (93 Responses)
  1. Casimy Sejour

    yeah Wolf,tell Hillary go to hail.All she needs to do is concede because she already lost .Stop divided the Democratic party.

    April 7, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  2. Get Real

    Do your homework Obama supporters, Look back and see what Regan, George Bush, along with Clinton, they make their most money after the job as President was completed. Why complain now. You should have made your points back with Reagan. Your just look for something else to whine about. Well, Boo Hoo.

    Clinton in 2008.....Get over it. How do you make your money. HMMMM!

    April 7, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  3. ALBO

    BY ALLOWING EX-PRESIDENTS (OR OTHER TOP GOVENMENT OFFICIAL) TO SELL THEIR BOOKS AND SPEECHES DURING THE
    FIRST 5 OR 10 YEARS AFTER LEAVING THE POST, A GIGANTIC
    LOOPHOLE IS OPENED.

    I HAVE NO SUPPORT TELLING THAT BILL CLINTON IS SUCH A CASE, BUT OBVIOUSLY ANY ILLEGAL PAYMENT CCOULD BE CAMOUFLAGED AS A COMPENSATION FOR A SPEECH.

    TOM ALBO.

    April 7, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  4. Maxine

    I think that is pretty good considering he was broke and in debt when he left the WH. Those are his words not mine. He had all those attorney fees and affairs to pay off and he still made a huge profit. Not bad, it is the American way.

    April 7, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  5. Ken Austin, TX

    I just hope George W. does not stay in the public eye after his term is over. I never want to see him again.

    April 7, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  6. Lynn D

    President Clinton was one of the best presidents we have ever had. I don't care what he did in his personal life. That is up to him, his wife, and he will have to answer to God. But we as a Nation owe him alot. We had both peace and prosperity during his terms as president. I think Senator Obama's supporters are in for a wake up call. And it won't be at 3 AM. Something is going to come out soon and Senator Obama will have to quit the race. It will be Senator Obama that will quit. I don't care what color someone is. I choose the person who has the most experience. Why does CNN only print Senator Obama's supporter's comments? Cause they want Senator Obama to win. Well, he isn't going to win cause something big is coming out and then it will be over for Senator Obama.

    April 7, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  7. Chris - Hemet, Ca.

    Nothing wrong with making lots of money but isn't it time we elected someone who isn't a multi millionaire.

    April 7, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  8. kathleen

    Nobody. Nobody will want to ever hear the likes of a crook like
    Bill Clinton again. Nor Hillary. Hillary will be very fortunate to keep
    her job in the senate after this appalling run for President.
    Oh, well, Dubai might pay Bill to speak. I think Dubai did pay him to speak and that
    is where some of the above speaking engagements were.

    I like Obama "speeches" much better.

    April 7, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  9. Danny,IA

    Bill got the money from Dubai Shaikh who is looking for publicity for Dubai. I wonder if Bill Clinton has helped them to make Dubai so popular. Dubai does not have any income tax so Bill can earn there as much as he can and pocket all the money.

    April 7, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  10. rightsaid

    "People pay for Bill Clinton's speaches and words because he is ADMIRED AND LOVED AROUND THE WORLD…..Plain and simple……"

    WAS admired.

    April 7, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  11. Bridgette

    I don't see anything wrong with him making money. He was a young man when he went into that office and he came out full of debt. He has a family to take care of. I think that if these entertainers can millions of dollars surely the ex-president ought to be able to make a living. Now unless there was a conflict of interest with some of the money with his wife being a Senator I don't see anything wrong with it.

    April 7, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  12. Greg

    If someone is as overpaid as Mr. Clinton clearly has been for the past 6 years, it makes me wonder exactly *why* he was being paid so much. It's not like he has ever had anything of value to say. Let alone millions of dollars...sure.

    I agree with Sean that the original statement was correct. Certainly in this particular case.

    Kinda makes you wonder exactly what favors have been promised to foreign nationals for these excessively large "speech" payments. They must be expecting something in return for their money. His words alone aren't worth a dime.

    There is nothing offensive about this post. I am sure CNN will not engage in censorship to shape the public opinion.

    April 7, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  13. Brenda

    So Bill made all that money from speaking.. "words, just words." I that phrase will be something else Hillary will have to drop from her stump speech.

    April 7, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  14. WendyOne

    Guess Bill & Hillary didn't rip off enough when they left the "Lie House", they need more. Who would pay to hear more of BiIl's lies?

    April 7, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  15. frank Honolulu HI

    So all you have are Clinton's stats? Why didn't you mention the other presidents income? Bill Clinton wouldn't make anything if he wasn't popular. So what did 50 cent rap daddy make last year? CNN seems selective in what they write.

    April 7, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  16. Public eye

    Two things are very true, when running for president. One, you need alot of money, you can't run for president if you're a corn farmer from Nebraska. Two, you give speeches, that is what politicians do when they run for office, speak! I am tired of hearing people blog about Obama being a "smooth" talker. Why do you say this, because he's articulate, intelligent, has great ideas for this country, and is easy on the ears? No, you idiots are racist, ignorant, and have short attention spans. Thousands upon thousands of people line up to go to Obama rallies every day. Just recently, rock star Dave Matthews and his band gave a free concert in Indiana to help raise support for Obama. End your foolishness, and stop lying to yourselves and get behind this great man. Barack Obama for President '08!

    April 7, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  17. Lola

    Perhaps the other folks commenting on this article should have read the whole article. Bill Clinton is a smart man who people will pay big money to see and hear. As the article pointed out the ole Kipper ranked in a couple of million for a few speeches. Talk about a waste of money. Get your facts straight and stop bashing the Clintons because they are easy targets.

    April 7, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  18. Jose Card - Independent

    The Clintons' 109 millions is nothing compared with how much more they will make IF they are returned to the White House. Bill can be the cash registrar as the spouse of the President does not have to report gifts he or she receives.

    Today Hillary demanded President Bush boycott Olympics 2008.
    It was Bill Clinton and his half-president, Hillary who pushed for WTO and the most favored trade status for China in their administration. Bill signed it just before he got out of the office.

    Anything Hillary now says about her anti-NAFTA or China position is only making her sound like a liar, which is nothing new.

    Hillary and Bill should be the honorable guests to China this Olympics. They will have a genuine happy reunion in Beijing. China loves the Clintons and we all know why. Remember those suspicious donations in NYC Chinatown last year? More than 75% of Chinese polled in China would vote for Hillary. – NPR. McCain ranks the last. Obama, second.

    April 7, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
1 2 3 4