There is just something about George Bush that the leftist press just can’t seem to leave him alone. Now they are picking at him because he is making a fist full of money on the lecture circuit. In a piece at The Daily Beast the author mentions several times that Bush had wanted to stay out of the limelight, then they go on to chastise him for delivering speeches across the country and the world.
When George W. Bush declined President Obama’s invitation to ceremony at New York’s ground zero after Osama bin Laden was killed, the former president citied his desire to keep a low public profile.
But Bush has been raising his profile in a different, and lucrative, way: He has ranked in millions of dollars since leaving office by making scores of speeches the typically warn him six figures a pop. (Source: The Daily Beast)
He does mention later on the in story that the speeches are closed to the public. To me, I think he is keeping a low profile. He doesn’t allow the press into his speeches. The only time something is released from a speech is when the press slithers into the speech like a snake. You hardly ever see him on the news. Until his book was released a few months ago, it was almost as if the guy had dropped off the face of the planet. About the only time you heard Bush’s name was when the current administration blamed him for the nation’s woes. And I fully believe that if bin Laden had not been killed Bush would have faded into the background once again.
While he does point out that “Clinton took ex-presidential lecture circuit to a new level”, this is hardly the tone of condemnation you get a feel for through the rest of the article. The author interviewed a couple of different people for his piece, both quite obviously with a left-leaning ax to grind.
To some presidential historians, Bush’s numerous high-priced speaking engagements don’t sit well. “I find it puzzling,” said Stanford University historian Robert Dallek. “He says he wants to keep a low profile. What is he doing except enriching himself? It sounds like it’s self-serving. It’s following the good old American adage to make as much as you can.” (Source: The Daily Beast)
This pretty much covers the progressive talking points on the rich by using terms such as “enriching himself” and “self serving” and “make as much as you can.” I guess this guy expects Bush to not enjoy the fruits of his labor. At least he didn’t come right out and say Bush should give all his money to the poor or “those less fortunate”.
Another person who contributed to this story finds what Bush has done as troubling.
“It’s one thing to stay out of the public realm, which George Bush has said he wants to do,” said Julian Zelizer, a presidential historian at Princeton University. “But then he goes on the speaking circuit and makes enormous amounts of money giving lectures mostly to corporate groups and other select audiences. Some Americans can find this distasteful.”
Zelizer added: “We’re in an era where that are countless fears about money and politics. I think former presidents have to be careful about what they’re doing with their speeches. For some people it’s another version of the revolving door between Capitol hill and K Street.”
I really don’t see how one can equate going on a speaking tour with someone who resigns from a post within the administration to take a lobbying job on K Street. And as for the “distasteful” part, I think the progressive in the nation will find fault no matter what George Bush does. Bush could die peacefully in his home and the left would blame him for not giving them fair warning.
I also would like you to note that neither individual quoted in the article mentioned Clinton and the gobs of money he was able to wrangle on the speech circuit. Or if they did mention it, the writer failed to include their thoughts in the article.
Clinton made millions and millions of dollar on the lecture circuit speaking to the same types of groups that Bush is speaking to now and while the author does point this out, it only in passing. I call this hypocritical. I’d be a little less judgmental towards the author if he had even devoted one paragraph detailing how Clinton had far and away exceeded what other presidents had made after retiring. I really don’t recall anyone from the mainstream press getting their knickers in knot over Clinton’s lecture circuit windfall. Just for the record, I don’t hold it against Clinton for making a buck, and I don’t think many conservatives do either, except when some liberal whiner decides that Bush can’t do the same thing.