Barack Obama to 'make $400k' for his Wall Street speech

The fee is said to be nearly twice as much as Hillary Clinton charged private companies for similar events

Maya Oppenheim
Tuesday 25 April 2017 10:55
Comments
Obama: 'My goal is to help prepare the next generation of leadership'

Barack Obama has reportedly agreed to speak at a Wall Street conference for almost half a million dollars.

The former President, who left the White House almost 100 days ago, is said to be appearing at Cantor Fitzgeralds LP’s healthcare conference as a keynote speaker in September.

Mr Obama’s reported speech fee is nearly twice as much as Hillary Clinton has charged private companies for similar style events.

According to Fox Business, Obama has signed the contract for the event but the company is waiting to finalise arrangements with the former President before making a formal announcement. Obama is still contractually able to pull out of the event with the mid-size New York based investment bank if he so wishes.

Mr Obama took to the stage in Chicago for his first public appearance since Donald Trump’s inauguration on Monday. Returning to the city he launched his political career in, he warned of the increasing polarisation of US politics.

The former President revealed his first post-White House project would centre on urging the next generation to become more politicised and civically engaged.

“There’s a reason why I’m always optimistic, even when things aren’t necessarily going the way I want, and that is because of young people like this,” the 55-year-old said, gesturing to the young adults who joined him on the panel discussion.

Obama adhered to the tradition of giving new President's some leeway in the early period of the administration and did not mention President Trump in the entirety of his speech. Although at the beginning he did joke: "So, what’s been going on while I’ve been gone?”

Just a day before, the former south side Chicago community organiser met with at-risk young men and boys from the Chicago Create Real Economic Destiny programme which is a job skills scheme.

Obama has kept a relatively low profile since packing his bags and leaving the White House. He has enjoyed some downtime with former First Lady Michelle Obama at a resort in Tetiaroa – the South Pacific island once owned by Marlon Brando – where he has started work on penning his White House memoir.

The former president also went kitesurfing on Mosquito Island on the British Virgin Islands alongside billionaire entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson. While there, he took time out of his holiday to condemn President Trump’s highly controversial travel ban.

“The President fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith or religion,” Mr Obama's spokesman said in a statement.

“Citizens exercising their Constitutional rights to assemble, organise and have their voices heard by their elected officials is exactly what we expect to see when American values are at stake.”

Mr Trump signed an executive order restricting travel from seven majority-Muslim countries days after arriving in the White House. After prompting chaos across airports worldwide, a federal judge blocked the order in February.

The President issued a revised hardline immigration ban in March that blocks new visas for people from six Muslim-majority countries and temporarily halts the US refugee programme. However US District Judge Derrick Watson issued a temporary restraining order against the revised ban after the state of Hawaii filed a lawsuit challenging it.

Eric Schultz, senior advisor to President Obama, told The Independent:

“As we announced months ago, President Obama will deliver speeches from time to time. Some of those speeches will be paid, some will be unpaid, and regardless of venue or sponsor, President Obama will be true to his values, his vision, and his record.

“He recently accepted an invitation to speak at a health care conference in September, because, as a President who successfully passed health insurance reform, it’s an issue of great importance to him. With regard to this or any speech involving Wall Street sponsors, I’d just point out that in 2008, Barack Obama raised more money from Wall Street than any candidate in history – and still went on to successfully pass and implement the toughest reforms on Wall Street since FDR.

“And while he’ll continue to give speeches from time to time, he’ll spend most of his time writing his book and, as he said in Chicago this week, focusing his post-presidency work on training and elevating a new generation of political leaders in America.”

This article has been updated to include Obama's statement.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in