Student leaders at the University of Las Vegas have asked that Hillary Clinton return the $225,000 fee she will reportedly be paid to speak at the university. They think the fee is too high, and undoubtedly they are correct if they think what is being purchased is a speech. The Gettysburg address itself only sold for $54,000 the last time it was put up for auction… though granted that was a while ago. But I think we can safely say that anything Hillary is going to say at this function will be insipid boilerplate that can be heard over and over again as she makes the speaking circuit trying to claw her way out of poverty.
I am just a middle class guy so it is very difficult for me to understand why anyone would pay to hear a collection of bromides that were old when Marx last remixed them in the bizarre apothecary or power-lust and jealousy that passed for his mind. But I guess what I am missing, and what the student leaders are missing, is that it is not a speech which is being purchased — it is a politician — or at least the good will of one. And that can be a very, very valuable thing. I also suspect that rich people like to hobnob with powerful people and by bringing the two together the university will reap a return in donations, while for their part the rich people will gain access to decision makers. Think of it like the Game of Thrones where the king comes in and all of the local nobility flock to be seen with his powerful personage, even if they have to empty their larders to feed the egos and bellies of the accompanying entourage of guards, jesters and lobbyists. They each hope to make some deal that will benefit them and are willing to pay the entry fee to make their pitch. Only in this case Hillary has the looks and stature of Tyrion but the heart of and competence of Cersei.
This is how it works. There is no way to prevent it short of maintaining a small government with few powers and responsibilities as mandated by the Constitution. But where is the fun in that?
So instead of this $225,000 being spent to, oh say, pay a few professors, build several units of housing for the homeless, pay the tuition of some deserving students of little means etc… it will be spent on paying a politician to do something which she would do anyway — run her mouth.
Which brings me to the question I know is on everyone’s mind. If $225,000 is her speaking fee, how much more must her shutting-up fee be?