NEWS AND OPINION:
Someone finally did all the math to discover that Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton are now worth an estimated $230 million. Forbes magazine analyst Dan Alexander assessed the couple’s sources of income in the last 14 years; it was the former president, he says, who brought in 80 percent of it as public speaker, author and consultant.
With fees ranging up to $500,000 per speech, he “raked in about $100 million from speaking from 2001 to 2014,” Mr. Alexander writes. Mr. Clinton also made a tidy $38 million from his memoirs in that period.
“Bill made money in business, charging more than $15 million to serve as an advisor to investment firm Yucaipa, led by billionaire Ron Burkle, from 2003 to 2008,” Mr. Alexander notes, adding that Mr. Clinton collected $2.5 million in consulting fees from Shangri-La Industries, $3.1 million from Wasserman Investments, $16 million from Laureate Education and $6 million from GEMS Education. Mrs. Clinton played a significant role in their income by 2013, when she made $9 million from public speaking, followed by $9 million in speaker fees in 2014. Together, the Clintons earned $28 million last year, Mr. Alexander says.
“In total, the power couple made $229 million from 2001 to 2014 before taxes, according to their tax returns. They have not completed or released their 2015 tax returns, but a disclosure Hillary filed earlier this year showed that the Clintons’ speaking businesses had collected $5 million in fees through May 14, meaning the Clintons’ earnings passed $230 million at some point in 2015,” Mr. Alexander reports, adding that the fortune is straight cash, not equity gains.
FOR THE LEXICON
“Ready (To Beat) Hillary”
— Republican presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina‘s newest campaign motto. “Unlike my Republican opponents, I’m willing to do what it takes to attack one of the biggest possible disasters facing our country: a Hillary Clinton presidency,” says Mrs. Fiorina.
THE LURE OF THE EX-PRESIDENTS
When in doubt, bring up Ronald Reagan.
“Ex-presidents loom large in the 2016 presidential debates,” says Eric Ostermeier, a University of Minnesota political professor who is keeping a tally of White House icons. “Fourteen ex-presidents have been mentioned 109 times collectively this debate season, with two former commanders in chief accounting for more than two-thirds of them. Any guesses?”
Reagan was the winner, mentioned 45 times, with George W. Bush in second place with 30 citations, some not always in a positive light.
Bill Clinton was in third place with 13 mentions, followed by George H.W. Bush (6), John Kennedy (3), John Adams (3), Abraham Lincoln (2) and, with one mention each: Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, Andrew Jackson, John Q. Adams, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. So far Republican hopefuls have invoked an ex-president 98 times; Democrats have done the same 11 times.
“There are no guarantees Presidents Chester Arthur, William Henry Harrison or Warren Harding will get shoutouts this debate season,” Mr. Ostermeier notes. “But with over 100 references to ex-presidents thus far, and with at least nine more Republican debates scheduled and five more on the Democratic side, look forward to dozens more references to the familiar names mentioned above, as well as the likes of Franklin and Teddy Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson and Dwight Eisenhower.”
THE LARRY SHOW
“I think we’ll use Larry at our next rally. He does me better than I do.”
— Sen. Bernard Sanders, on comedian Larry David‘s astute portrayal of him on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live”
THE BERNIE SHOW
The man who pines to be a Democratic socialist president has perfected his own strategic showbiz. Here’s what’s coming up as the aforementioned Mr. Sanders heads to the Iowa Democratic Party’s big Jefferson-Jackson Dinner — the “J-J dinner” — this Saturday:
“Supporters across the state will be showing their enthusiasm and commitment to Sanders’ call for a political revolution during events that will start Friday — beginning with a free concert in downtown Davenport,” the organization advises. “Bernie’s All-Star Band — musicians from Iowa and across the country — will join Sen. Sanders for the Rockin’ the Bern Concert.
“On Saturday prior to the J-J dinner, Sanders will join volunteers and supporters at a rally in downtown Des Moines, outside the Argonne Armory. Following the rally, Sanders will lead supporters and volunteers in a march across the Women of Achievement Bridge.”
A rally, a concert, a march across a bridge — why, it could be 1968 all over again.
“Our Friday night concert in Davenport is creating the political revolution that Bernie talks about, [which, also being] vital to our nation’s progress, can also be fun,” says Robert Becker, state director for the Sanders campaign in Iowa.
POLL DU JOUR
• 47 percent of Americans have an unfavorable view of socialism; 78 percent of Republicans, 45 percent of independents and 23 percent of Democrats agree.
• 39 percent overall do not support Sen. Bernard Sanders for president; 55 percent of Republicans, 38 percent of independents and 26 percent of Democrats agree.
• 24 percent are unsure whether Mr. Sanders’ status as a “democratic socialist” affects their support for him; 10 percent of Republicans, 29 percent of independents and 26 percent of Democrats agree.
• 15 percent overall say Mr. Sanders’ beliefs makes them less likely to vote for him; 26 percent of Republicans, 14 percent of independents and 6 percent of Democrats agree.
• 10 percent overall say Mr. Sanders’ beliefs make them more likely to vote for him; 3 percent of Republicans, 8 percent of independents and 20 percent of Democrats agree.
Source: A YouGov poll of 1,000 U.S. adults conducted Oct. 15-16.
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