Hillary's Big Speaking Fees May Come in Handy During Campaign

Image: Hillary's Big Speaking Fees May Come in Handy During Campaign

Tuesday, 01 Jul 2014 12:53 PM

By Andrea Billups

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Another clue Hillary Clinton will be in it to win it in 2016: She continues a spate of high-dollar speaking engagements, geared to raise what could be much needed capital if indeed her campaign needs an infusion for the home stretch,  a lesson she learned in 2008.

"It seems doubtful Mrs. Clinton will have fundraising troubles should she run for president a second time. Democrats don’t have another Barack Obama on the horizon. Hollywood and Wall Street donors are scurrying to line up behind Mrs. Clinton," Peter Nicholas wrote in a Monday Washington Wire column for The Wall Street Journal.

"But that doesn’t mean she’s convinced she can count on their fidelity. Bitter experience may have cemented in her mind the importance of having her own money."

Indeed, Clinton was forced to loan herself $5 million during her 2008 presidential primary race against Obama, whose charisma had captured the nation's attention and made his own fundraising efforts a breeze. Her investment in herself helped her to continue campaigning well into summer, before it became clear that her chances against a youthful, black opponent were waning.

Now as her stock has risen and she is earning more than $200,000 a speech, some reason that earning preemptory funds may be a safeguard that allows her a campaign cushion, even as many see the former senator and secretary of state as Washington's heir apparent to the White House.

Some, including Republicans, have taken to mocking her speechmaking, with Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus describing her gaffes as "Hillary fatigue," Politico reported.

Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus, in an "intervention," called on Clinton to stop with the money chatter, the WSJ noted, describing the former first lady dragging herself deeper into a public opinion hole as she talks publicly about wealth.

"Actually, you have two money problems. The first is how you talk about it. The second is how you collect it — or, to be more precise, the fact that you’re still frenetically collecting it," Marcus warned Clinton.

"The issue isn’t that you’re rich, or even that you and your husband became rich after leaving office. American voters don’t have a problem with wealthy candidates or even wealthy ex-presidents and ex-officials," Marcus continued. "They have a problem with wealthy candidates who are whiny and/or defensive about their wealth; who are greedy and/or ostentatious in their acquisition and display thereof; or whose wealth makes them, or makes them appear to be, out of touch with the concerns of everyday people."

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