Hillary Rodham Clinton keeps busy giving paid speeches to industry groups

Hillary Clinton



Hillary Rodham Clinton traveled to Chicago last month to give a major speech in a cavernous convention hall. Her audience was 15,000 human resources professionals, and her remarks were tailored specifically to how immigration reform and President Obama’s health-care overhaul might affect their industry.
In the six months since stepping down as secretary of state, Clinton has addressed apartment-complex developers in Dallas, private-equity managers in Los Angeles and business executives in Grand Rapids, Mich. Still to come are travel agents, real estate brokers, clinical pathologists and car dealers — collecting more than $200,000 per appearance, according to one executive who arranges speaking tours.
This is how Clinton is cashing in on her star power as she weighs whether to run for the White House. The would-be Democratic front-runner is barnstorming the country, delivering speeches and answering questions at events sponsored by industry groups eager to gain access to someone who may be the next president.
Clinton is the only leading 2016 contender giving paid speeches, with at least 14 delivered or scheduled so far, in part because ethics rules prohibit sitting lawmakers from doing so. Past presidential contenders, such as Republicans Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty, gave relatively few such addresses, and for much lower five-figure fees.
A hectic speaking schedule is more common for those who have left electoral politics for good, including her husband, former president Bill Clinton — who has racked up tens of millions of dollars in speaking fees since leaving office — and other former secretaries of state, such as Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell and Madeleine Albright.

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