Obama set for windfall, no matter who wins


Washington : No matter who clinches the US presidential polls, President Barack Obama is set to rake in millions of dollars, as a political scientist has put it: “Being a former president is a ticket to printing money.”

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By delivering highly sought after speeches, writing best-selling books and landing lucrative corporate directorships, former presidents typically rake in tens of millions of dollars after leaving the Oval Office, Fox News reported.

“You never have to worry about an ex-president eating. Being a former president is a ticket to printing money. That’s all it is,” says Larry Sabato, a closely-watched political scientist at the University of Virginia.

“When we elect someone president, we nearly guarantee he will become a one hundred millionaire.”

No matter when he ultimately needs it, Sabato says the financial playbook is in front of him, should he choose to use it.

In case of ex-president Bill Clinton, who left office in 2001 heavily in debt due to legal bills, just a decade later he hauled in a whopping $13.4 million last year as speaking fees alone.

In 2010, while joking at a forum in South Africa, Clinton said: “I never had any money until I got out of the White House, you know, but I’ve done reasonably well since then.”

If Obama follows in the footsteps of his predecessors, he will be able to do “reasonably well” too.

According to Ron Bonjean, a partner at Washington, DC-based PR firm Singer Bonjean Strategies, it is a huge windfall. “If President Obama were to leave office I don’t think he’d be part of the middle class. He’d be part of the one percent.”

In the 1970s, Richard Nixon perfected the art of turning a White House stint into fat paychecks. He managed to resurrect his own reputation while simultaneously paying off hefty legal fees north of $1 million tied to the Watergate scandal.

Nixon negotiated an incredible deal with British talk-show host David Frost in 1977 for a series of interviews, receiving $600,000 and a share of all profits. He also generated $2 million in 1978 by selling his memoirs.

According to a CNN analysis, Clinton has earned $89 million strictly from paid speeches since leaving office saddled with debt in January 2001.