More often than not and now more than ever, once a sitting president leaves office, he does the following: treats his former status as the most powerful person on earth for the winning Lotto ticket it is. This is done by way of lucrative book fees, high-paid speaking engagements and sitting on a board or 27 ½ for a pretty, pretty nice amount of money.
However, like many things associated with his time in office, what was once considered a norm for others is now suddenly an issue when Obama partakes in the practice.
The annoyances in this leading question are twofold. One, to quote many a lovable Negro today, “I just think it’s funny how” suddenly the first black president has to be held to certain standards with respect to making money. After all, capitalism is a religion in America, so it’s peculiar that anyone is perplexed that a former head of state of this capitalistic country wouldn’t follow traditions such as seeing his postpresidency through the lens of “Cash rules everything around me.” Yet the likes of Riotta and others have been asking, “Isn’t $60 million enough?”
Go ask a Clinton, a Bush, a Reagan or a Kennedy that. Speaking of, Obama and Bill Clinton biographer David Maraniss said, Obama “does not need the money and should not accept it.” A Clinton biographer said this. The Clintons treated the White House like an Airbnb for big donors and made several fortunes after the Clinton presidency. But please, Barry, don’t get too rich on ’em. Mind you, the types making these calls are well-paid white folks in media who currently earn far more than I and others like me make for similar, if not less, work.
As for the 2008 Obama who “slammed Wall Street,” there is a bit of revisionist history at hand. Like a kid at the end of an old ABC family sitcom who suddenly saved the day with his naivete, Riotta quotes Obama in 2009 saying, “I did not run for office to be helping out a bunch of fat cat bankers on Wall Street” and ends his piece with this quip: “Maybe that Obama should have a talk with 2017 Obama.”
Obama notoriously raised more money than political opponents like Hillary Clinton, John McCain and Mitt Romney from Wall Street. He even raised more money than former President George W. Bush. The Obama administration has long been criticized over this, which is why, when asked about the fee and criticisms over it, Obama spokesman Eric Schultz said: “With regard to this or any speech involving Wall Street sponsors, I’d just point out that in 2008, Barack Obama raised more money from Wall Street than any candidate in history—and still went on to successfully pass and implement the toughest reforms on Wall Street since [President Franklin D. Roosevelt].”
Joining the well-paid media people admonishing Obama for taking $400,000 to speak about health care (imagine the man behind Obamacare doing such a thing) are Democratic politicians with curious ambitions for 2020. Enter Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who said that Obama is a “friend of mine,” yet he finds his decision to be “distasteful.”
“I just think it does not look good,” Sanders explained on CNN. “I just think it is distasteful—not a good idea that he did that.”
Read the rest at The Root.