Hillary Clinton will speak, ostensibly at no cost, to the Democratic National Committee’s Women’s Leadership Forum in Washington, D.C., Thursday night, but it might just be the most expensive speech she’s ever given.
According to NTK Network, over the last several months, Clinton has taken nearly $1 million from the “cash strapped” DNC and its partner organization, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, for “list rentals,” per FEC filings, making Thursday night’s address one of the most expensive motivational speech Clinton has ever delivered.
As of April 2018, the DNC has only about $10 million in cash on hand, and has mostly added debt since the 2016 presidential election. It now owes its creditors approximately $6.3 million.
But while it says its cash on hand is going directly to 2018 midterm campaigns, several large DNC checks have gone straight into Hillary Clinton’s pockets. On January 8, the DNC paid Clinton $300,000 for “list rentals” (even though her campaign list was proven ineffective in the closing days of the 2016 campaign). The DCCC, which is a little better off financially, has cut several similar checks — one for $286,000, one for $140,000, and one for $145,000 — to Clinton’s “Onward Together” political action committee, also for “list rentals.”
These payments were all made while state-based Democratic organizations were begging the DNC and DCCC for money, according to The Washington Free Beacon.
The Clinton campaign has provided little of value to subsequent races. In fact, Clinton blamed the DNC, in part, for her loss, saying the organization was “bankrupt” and out of ideas, unhelpful, and difficult to work with. Democrats running in midterm elections have been noticeably silent on whether they’ll be welcoming Clinton to their campaign rallies, perhaps because she has an approval rating hovering around 27%, a little more than half that of President Donald Trump’s.
That means that when she takes the stage in D.C. on Thursday night, she’ll do so at a great cost to Democrats who’ve learned little from her efforts. If you take just the DNC’s contributions into consideration, Clinton is performing for around $300,000 — a cool $50,000 more than she received for her most expensive pre-presidential campaign speech. If you take into consideration the full amount of Democratic contributions, Clinton is earning nearly a million dollars for a single hour’s work.
That’s bad news for Democrats — and especially their donors — but good news for Clinton. Since losing the election in 2012, her price for public appearances has dropped dramatically. Her last public paid speech, at Rutgers University in March, netted her only $25,000. Barely enough to cover the trip to New Jersey.