Barack Obama took flak earlier this year when it emerged that he would collect a handsome $400,000 fee for speaking at an event for investment bank Cantor Fitzgerald. It appears that the criticism isn't fazing him much. Bloomberg reports on two more Wall Street speeches for the former president: He got another $400,000 last month for speaking to clients of Northern Trust Corp., and last week he spoke for private equity firm Carlyle Group, presumably for a paycheck in the same ballpark. An Obama spokesman brushes off complaints that Obama should turn down such paydays.
"His paid speeches in part have allowed President Obama to contribute $2 million to Chicago programs offering job training and employment opportunities to low-income youth," says Kevin Lewis. But Bloomberg also collects a quote from Jeff Hauser of the Revolving Door Project, who says that Obama should forego the lucrative gigs if he intends to keep having a say in Democratic politics. Hillary Clinton similarly made good money with Wall Street speeches after her stint as secretary of state, and the bad "optics" contributed to her loss in 2016, she writes in her new memoir, per Newsweek. Obama, of course, doesn't have to worry about running again.