One would think if someone is going to pay you $3.26 million to appear and speak at a venue, you’d be ready to give an inspired, well prepared presentation that would make people feel they just witnessed an event, let alone keep you awake. And one would also think you’d be aware and care of the optics of accepting a generous amount of money at a conference dealing with the topic of the effects of the weather on the production of food to feed the world.
Barack Obama will reportedly pocket a staggering £2.5million (€3million) today for delivering a speech to a sold-out audience in Milan as part of his lucrative post-presidential speaking tour. The former President, who has already earned hundreds of thousands of dollars for private speeches since leaving the White House, will make his highest-paying appearance yet at the Global Food Innovation Summit today.
President Obama flew into Italy’s business capital yesterday, and according to local media headed straight for the extravagant Park Hyatt hotel, which can cost up to £7,100 (€8,400) a night. After bringing the city to a standstill with a convoy of 14 cars, a helicopter and a 300-strong police escort, President Obama’s entourage reportedly took over two floors of the hotel.
— Express (UK), 5/9/17
The summit speech started out with the adoring reception of a beloved liberal. The speech itself was another story and one can only imagine if the organizers and those in attendance began to wonder if they were getting their money’s worth.
Obama gave roughly 15 minutes of prepared remarks. The following hour and 20-or-so minutes was a rather boring shoot-the-shit session with his former White House chef, Sam Kass.
Some 3,500 people have paid €850 each for a ticket, raising nearly €3 million for the Obama Foundation, which was set up to carry on his project of “renewal and global progress”.
— The Times (UK), 5/9/17
Uh oh. Another “foundation”. We all know how well these things work out.
Barack Obama is now in the world royalty class. He’ll command top dollar wherever he goes, hang with the wealthiest in the area, and get that rock star treatment. In return, he’ll need to prove that he’s worth the price his new status commands.
Despite the presumption of “coolness”, a shirt and tie wouldn’t hurt.