Hillary Too Expensive? Get Chelsea Clinton at a Discount

Hillary Too Expensive? Get Chelsea Clinton at a Discount

Graduating seniors line up to receive their diplomas during Commencement at Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, U.S., May 26, 2017.   REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Brian Snyder
By Eric Pianin

If you’re turned off by the astronomical speaking fees commanded by the former Secretary of State and her former president husband, you have an option: You can go Clinton shopping.

Hillary and Bill Clinton earned in excess of $25 million for delivering 104 speeches between 2014 and the first three months of 2015, including $11 million that Hillary Clinton collected delivering 51 speeches, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Related:  Hillary Clinton’s Achilles' Heel: Trust

While Hillary’s fees varied, they typically exceeded a quarter-million-dollars a pop and went as high as $300,000, although she generally donated the funds to the Clinton family’s global foundation.

But at least one sticker-shocked university balked at her price and settled for a bargain basement alternative – daughter Chelsea Clinton.

As The Washington Post recounted on Tuesday, officials of the University of Missouri at Kansas City were in the market for a celebrity speaker to headline a gala luncheon marking the opening of a women’s hall of fame in early 2014. Initially, they thought of inviting Clinton’s 34-year old daughter to deliver brief remarks at the event.

When Chelsea’s speaking agency responded that she probably wouldn’t be available, university officials decided to “shoot for the moon” and invite her mother, the presumptive 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, to appear instead. However, they were stunned when the answer came back that Hillary Clinton indeed would be available but it would cost them $275,000.

Related: College Students Outraged over Hillary Clinton’s Massive Speaking Fees   

University officials regrouped and resumed their hunt for a speaker. Then word came back that Chelsea Clinton was available to speak after all – and for the relatively modest fee of $65,000. Likely still reeling from the Hillary demand,  university officials jumped at the offer.

Chelsea Clinton appeared at the luncheon on Feb. 24, 2014, and here’s what her schedule called for:  a 10-minute speech followed by a 20-minute, moderated question-and-answer session and a half-hour posing for pictures with VIPs off-stage. As with Hillary Clinton’s paid speeches at universities, Chelsea Clinton directed her fee to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation.

School officials said Chelsea’s appearance, which was covered by private donations, was well worth the money. Reactions to the story on social media were less positive, with anti-Clinton commentators having a field day mocking America’s one-time and perhaps future first family.  

Chart of the Day: Long Way to Go on Coronavirus Testing

Healthcare workers with ChristianaCare test people with symptoms of the coronavirus in a drive-thru in the parking lot of Chase
Jennifer Corbett
By The Fiscal Times Staff

The White House on Friday unveiled plans for a new effort to ramp up testing for Covid-19, which experts say is an essential part of limiting the spread of the virus. This chart from Vox gives a sense of just how far the U.S. has to go to catch up to other countries that are dealing with the pandemic, including South Korea, the leading virus screener with 3,692 tests per million people. The U.S., by comparison, has done about 23 tests per million people as of March 12.

After Spending $2 Billion, Air Force Bails Out on Planned Upgrades of B-2 Bombers

The B-2 Spirit stealth bomber flies over the Missouri Sky after taking off from the Whiteman Air For..
© Hyungwon Kang / Reuters
By The Fiscal Times Staff

The Air Force has scrapped a planned upgrade of its B-2 stealth bomber fleet — even after spending $2 billion on the effort — because defense contractor Northrup Grumman didn’t have the necessary software expertise to complete the project on time and on budget, Bloomberg’s Anthony Capaccio reports, citing the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer.

Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, told reporters that the nearly $2 billion that had already been spent on the program wasn’t wasted because “we are still going to get upgraded electronic displays.”

Big Hurdle for Sanders’ Plan to Cancel Student Debt

Chip East / REUTERS
By The Fiscal Times Staff

Bernie Sanders wants to eliminate $1.6 trillion in student debt, to be paid for by a tax on financial transactions, but doing so won’t be easy, says Josh Mitchell of The Wall Street Journal.  

The main problem for Sanders is that most Americans don’t support the plan, with 57% of respondents in a poll last fall saying they oppose the idea of canceling all student debt. And the politics are particularly thorny for Sanders as he prepares for a likely general election run, Mitchell says: “Among the strongest opponents are groups Democrats hope to peel away from President Trump: Rust Belt voters, independents, whites, men and voters in rural areas.”

Number of the Day: $7 Million

NY mayor cites climate stance in endorsing Obama
By The Fiscal Times Staff

That’s how much Michael Bloomberg is spending per day in his pursuit of the Democratic presidential nomination, according to new monthly filings with the Federal Election Commission. “In January alone, Bloomberg dropped more than $220 million on his free-spending presidential campaign,” The Hill says. “That breaks down to about $7.1 million a day, $300,000 an hour or $5,000 per minute.”