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Barack Obama Hits the Speaking Circuit

April 26, 2017
A popular concept goes something like this: You run for president so that one day you will be an ex-president.


The NYPost reports:


Former President Barack Obama, less than 100 days out of office, has agreed to speak at a Wall Street conference run by Cantor Fitzgerald. His speaking fee will be $400,000, which is nearly twice as much as Hillary Clinton, his secretary of state, and the 2016 Democratic Party candidate, charged private businesses for such events.


Obama has agreed to speak at Cantor’s health care conference in September and will be the keynote luncheon speaker for one day during the event. These people say Obama has signed the contract, but the company, a mid-sized New York-based investment bank, is waiting to coordinate with the former president before making a formal announcement.


Nice work, if you can get it. But of course, ex-presidents of the United States are not a dime a dozen. Fact is, there are just 5 living ex-presidents – Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obamawhich makes it one of the most exclusive clubs in the world.


So, what does an ex-president do with his time after leaving office - besides raking in money from speaking engagements, that is? Today, a former president can do pretty much whatever he wants. After a weekend in Palm Springs, President Obama and his wife reportedly flew to the British Virgin Islands for some vacation time. But what next?


In January, PBS NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff sat down with Atlantic writer Barbara Bradley Hagerty, who spent months looking at how presidents who left office at relatively young ages decided what to do with the rest of their lives.  Among other things, Hagerty tells Judy Woodruff that Jimmy Carter was the trailblazer, Bill Clinton the moneymaker, George W. Bush the laid-back painter. So what’s next for Barack Obama?