As evidenced from his recent appearance at the Democratic National Convention and from his eight years in the White House, former President Bill Clinton is pretty good at giving speeches.
Even those who dislike Bill Clinton will usually admit that he is very charismatic and engaging.
Anyways, Bill Clinton does very well for himself on the speech circuit. In addition to the $191,300 taxable pension that Clinton receives for being a former US President, as well as the royalties that he continues to receive for his books, he also brings home millions of dollars per year by giving talks around the world.
How much money did he make in 2011? Let's look to his wife, Hillary Clinton, and her annual financial disclosure statement for the answer.
According to Hillary Clinton's filing that covers the 2011 calendar year, former President Bill Clinton gave 54 speeches in 2011.
Bill Clinton made a total of $13,434,000 for his 54 speeches, which works out to an average of $248,777.78 per speech.
Interesting. He earns more for one hour long [or less] speech than a many a Rebbi in Yeshivos in Israel makes in 20 years!!!
I just want to clarify that any Dvar Torah you hear from a six year old that he heard from his Morah is worth more than all of Bill's speeches put together.
Putting his politics aside, I find it remarkable that a person who was revealed to all of mankind as being a filthy, sneaky, narcissistic pleasure seeker, who had multiple affairs right under his wife's nose knowing full well that eventually he'd probably be caught and embarrassed both of them in front of the entire world, is actively pursued as a public speaker.
What message does that send? It sends a message that it doesn't matter what type of human being you are as long as you "made it big".
When Harvard and Yale ask him to speak [as they did] they are doing an even greater disservice - instead of educating for morality as they should be doing, they are educating young, impressionable kids [with high SAT scores who will be the future leaders of America] that you can do whatever you want, enjoy yourself, hurt other people, set a terrible example - as long as you reach the top of your profession.
We don't want any part of that.