In an effort to drum up populist support for her presidential campaign Hillary Clinton is painting herself as a middle-class warrior, but the image she’s trying to build doesn’t exactly jive with the lavish fees she commands to speak at events.
Clinton’s speaking fee of $300,000 per speech puts her hourly wage far ahead of America’s top-paid CEOs when taken into account that one speech generally runs for about an hour, the Washington Examiner reported.
Clinton makes a massively larger sum per hour than the highest paid CEO, John Hammergren of the pharmaceutical company McKesson. Hammergren makes $63,077 an hour.
She is paid per-hour more than the top five CEOs combined, and almost the 6th, which comes out to be $302,116 total, compared to her $300,000.
By this hourly measure, Clinton is slaying the salaries of America’s CEOs, who bring in a measly per-hour average of just over $54,000, which is about one-sixth of Clinton’s $300,000.
In terms of politician’s speaking fees, Clinton is topped only by Donald Trump who reportedly earned a staggering $1.5 million per speech while speaking at “real estate wealth expos” in 2006 and 2007. Her husband is typically paid around $200,000 per speech, but was once paid $750,000 for one speech in 2011.
For reference, former president George W. Bush earns between $100,000 and $150,000 per speaking engagement, and back when she was relevant, Sarah Palin asked for around $100,000.
If Clinton were to give a speech every hour for a 40-hour work week, that would net her around $624 million per year. That is larger than the annual salaries of the 10 highest paid CEOs in the country combined. Hammergren makes roughly $131 million a year, with the rest of the top 10 pulling in between $43 and $67 million.
Obviously Clinton isn’t giving speeches full-time. So, if she needs roughly four hours to prepare for and travel to a speech location, that still puts her hourly wage at around $75,000, or nearly $20,000 above the average pay of America’s top 10 CEOs.
The Democratic presidential candidate doesn’t discriminate in terms of who she is speaking to, either. She’s spoken before industry groups ranging from private-equity managers and business executives to travel agents and car dealers, but always collects more than $200,000 per appearance.
She’s spoken at events directed at both Republicans and Democrats, according to the Washington Post. Clinton gave the keynote address at an event for the Economic Club of Grand Rapids in 2013 that was honoring Amway President Doug DeVos, a prominent Republican donor. Earlier that year, Henry Kissinger introduced her at a black-tie gala for the Atlantic Council in Washington, D.C.
Clinton sparked a bit of an uproar in the summer of 2014 when she charged a Nevada college $225,000 shortly after officials in the state signed off on a plan to raise tuition at the school by 17 percent. The invitation-only fundraiser charged guests $200 each for a seat, with premium seating ranging from $3,000 to $20,000 for reserved tables.
Clinton attempted to quell the flames by agreeing to direct the funds to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, rather than her own pocket, but even that raises some questions, since contributions to the $2 billion tax-exempt charitable foundation could result in tax deductions for the Clintons.