Post-presidential speaking engagements are known to be quite lucrative, and former President Barack Obama is about to cash in.
The ex-POTUS is slated to earn a whopping $400,000 for an appearance at a Wall Street conference later this year, according to a new report.
Fox Business Network reported Monday, April 24, that Obama is set to appear at Cantor Fitzgerald LP’s health care conference this September, where he will serve as the keynote speaker for one day. The former president has reportedly signed a contract with the New York-based investment firm, but the company is waiting until everything is squared away before making an official announcement.
The network pointed out that Obama’s speaking fee is almost twice that of former First Lady and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. News of his big money deal has since drawn harsh criticisms, with many calling him a hypocrite for accepting money from the very banks and investors he once described as “fat cats.”
At points in his presidency, Obama also denounced wealthy Wall Street bankers for earning high salaries while average Americans struggled to make ends meet following the Recession.
“It’s all about personal gain for Obama,” author Kristin Tate said during a segment of “Fox & Friends” this week, adding that the speech would be the “height of hypocrisy.”
“But, Democrats end up looking more hypocritical than Republicans because it’s the Democrats who constantly rail against greedy, rich bankers and rich business people,” she continued.
Hank Sheinkopf, a Democratic political consultant, agreed that Obama’s willingness to speak at a conference for a Wall Street firm was a bit ironic.
“Is there an irony here because he spoke incessantly about the income gap and is now earning from those same people he criticized? Yes it is,” Sheinkopf said. “Should we expect it? Yes, we should because all former presidents do this. He went on the attack against Wall Street and now he’s being fed by those same people he called ‘fat cats.’ It’s more hypocritical than ironic.”
News of the speaking engagement comes just days after Obama delivered his first public remarks since leaving the White House.