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.  

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