George W. Bush may have been keeping out of the public eye since the end of his catastrophic presidency, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been busy. While FOX News, the right wing echo chamber, and Republicans love to harp on about Hillary Clinton’s imaginary “Clinton Cash scandal”, they conveniently fail to mention the fact that Hillary Clinton donates her speaking fees to charity while George W. Bush puts them in his personal bank account. Michael Kruse of POLITICO revealed this week that since 2009, Bush has given over 200 paid speeches, charging $100,000 to $175,000 for his presence. Bush told author Robert Draper that after the presidency, he intended to “replenish the ol’ coffers” making “ridiculous” money through public speaking- and has made good on that promise, racking up some $15 million dollars for his bank account.
Bush tends to restrict his speaking to private affairs, enjoying the luxury that the Republican donation base are accustomed to, in convention centers and hotel ballrooms, resorts and casinos, but has also stooped to such events as the “Work Truck Show” and the 2014 International Bowl Expo, where Mr. Bush offered up such nuggets of wisdom like “bowling is fun.” But in general, his movements and audiences are hard to trace; his post-White House irrelevance shielding him from public interest. But he travels and speaks, from investment summits in the Cayman Islands to a McKinney, Texas charity for the homeless, which he was paid $100,000.
Unlike Hilary Clinton, who donates her speaking fees to the Clinton Foundation, for use in philanthropic work around the world, Bush’s staff assured POLITICO that “none of what he makes when he does get paid goes anywhere other than his own bank account.” As the right wing FOX “News” propaganda machine zeroes in on creating a firestorm of lies and exaggerations about the finances of the Clinton family, they are hypocritically silent on the subject of Mr. Bush.
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.