Last time Hillary Clinton ran for president, Bill Clinton proved to be an asset as well as a serious liability.
This time around, she has more problems than just the former president, but he certainly isn’t making things any easier for her. Questions arise daily about money raised not only by the Clinton Foundation but about the timing and amount of speaking fees collected by the couple.
On NBC this week, Bill Clinton addressed the issue, particularly as to how he justifies speaking fees in the $500,000 per speech range. We all know he’s good, but there is some debate as to whether or not he’s that good.
With his usual good old boy Southern charm, Clinton noted that he carefully considers questions of impropriety when it comes to some offers to speak and declines them if he deems them inappropriate. Still, he didn’t pledge to stop the practice altogether saying, “I got to pay our bills.”
Poor man. He sounds like he’s teetering on the edge of a financial cliff. So many Americans can certainly relate to his plight given the sluggish economy and insecure job market.
Hey wait a minute . . . he pockets a half million dollars per speech. So far, since he left the White House, he’s amassed a fortune in excess of $130 million dollars.
With that much money, what’s he so worried about?
Let’s see. He owns two homes (at least). Both are pricey but in his defense neither looks like some of the fine abodes Russian billionaires own on the French Riviera. By super wealthy people’s standards, his two homes together looks like the equivalent of a nice double wide trailer.
Still, he’s super rich by most everyone else’s standards. Statistically, he’s not only in the top one percent of all wage earners, he’s close to the top of that number. So by the standards of the average middle class American, he’s living very large.
That doesn’t explain his obvious deep seeded concern and anxiety about money. Despite what you might imagine, it is indeed possible to get yourself in financial straits and spend all your money . . . even millions.
So perhaps that’s what troubles him. He has a spending problem. It goes with the territory. He’s a Democrat after all. Still, regardless of political affiliation, a fortune can easily be lost spending lavishly on wine, women, and song. In Clinton’s case, this is possible based on what we know about him. (If you’re wondering where the “song” comes in we all know he plays a mean saxophone).
Things are expensive even for millionaires. Clinton used to get by quite nicely on the Dollar Menu at McDonald’s. Now he’s vegan and all about healthy eating. As everyone knows, one of the sources of financial difficulties in this country stems from a decision to eat healthy. If you don’t believe me, take a look on the faces of customers inspecting their receipts as they exit Whole Foods.
Clothes are expensive. Handmade Italian suits aren’t free. Chanel and Louis Vuitton aren’t just giving their wares away. You make more money? You spend more money.
It’s that simple.
The real question comes in how being so fabulously wealthy plays to the average person struggling to make it day to day. These days most people aren’t particularly fond of multi-millionaires.
Don’t believe it? Ask Mitt Romney.
And Romney was a rather humble man for someone so rich. So if they don’t like the mild-mannered rich guy just imagine what they think of the fabulously wealthy man who makes speeches for a living courtesy of his years of public service grousing about how he needs more money to pay the bills.
Clinton only has one saving grace in this entire episode and that’s that he’s a Democrat.
A Republican could never get away with such a thing.