Booking Hillary Clinton for a speaking slot necessitates a certain amount of structure, as one might expect. But thanks to the Public Accountability Initiative, everyone the world over now knows exactly how much structure.
Offering a rare glimpse into the former secretary of state's lucrative career on the public speaking circuit, the nonprofit research group Wednesday utilized the freedom of information law to release a nine-page booking contract from one of her lectures last fall. According to the document drawn up by her representatives at the Henry Walker Agency, the cost for the University at Buffalo in New York to book Clinton was hefty - as were the stipulations accompanying her Oct. 23 address.
Rearing to slate Clinton for your next big event? Here's just a handful of what you'll need:
- $275,000: Though she's said she considered her family "dead broke" after her husband Bill vacated the presidency in 2001, Clinton's day job is now affording her a pretty generous sum. The contract delineated that the "full contract fee" of $275,000 was to be paid directly to the Walker Agency; then, her own cut would be donated to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, the former first family's namesake philanthropic organization, which they've been priming to comfortably subsist should the dynasty matriarch opt to mount a 2016 White House bid.
- "A presidential glass panel teleprompter and a qualified operator": It's unclear to the layman what a "presidential" teleprompter entails, but Clinton's contract warned that she may require that "the Sponsor pay for and provide a presidential glass teleprompter and a qualified operator."
- Another $1,000 for a stenographer: Since she requested a "presidential glass panel teleprompter," Clinton was presumably not shooting haphazardly from the hip but instead reading directly from pre-prepared remarks already transcribed - somewhere - in print. Still, and despite that Clinton also qualified in the document that the university is not to record any portion of her speech, her contractor laid out clearly that the host institution would shoulder the $1,000 fee for the services of a stenographer, whose labors would "solely for the Speaker's records."
- An attractive venue: Known for its rough winters along the shores of Lake Erie, it's ostensibly understandable that Clinton would expect a "well heated" location for her fall engagement. It was also imperative, the contract stated, for the venue to be "well lighted and licensed," and "in good condition."
- A very understanding crowd: Though Clinton's sold-out remarks were delivered at the university's Alumni Arena, which boasts a capacity of 6,100, her contract mandated that the half-hour photo line leading into her address would not exceed "50 photos with up to 100 people."
- Willingness to completely surrender autonomy: Unsurprisingly, the early frontrunner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination maneuvers like a well-oiled machine. Chances are, that's largely due to requirements like these, outlined in her contract: Maintaining "final approval" of her introductory speaker and the moderator of the question-and-answer session, as well as "the sets, backdrops, banners, scenery, logos, settings, etc." The topic and length of Clinton's speech would be at her "sole discretion," and the only approved speech title would be "Remarks by Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton." Finally, it was to be agreed that "the Speaker will be the only person on stage during her remarks."