Submitted by Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger
Former President George W. Bush has a strange way of keeping a low profile. Following his reported sore ego for not being afforded enough credit in the demise of Bin Laden, Bush declined an invitation to go to New York and appear with President Obama at “ground zero.” The ex-President, it was said, wanted to keep a “low profile.” That desire didn’t stop him though from traveling to New York the following week and giving three speeches to hedge fund managers for a cool $450,000.00.
According to presidential spokesman, David Sherzer, Bush has made about 140 such appearances and raked in $15 million. All are closed to the public, keeping up a hoary tradition he began in public office with few, if any, news conferences, and an almost maniacal desire for secrecy.
“It’s one thing to stay out of the public realm, which George Bush has said he wants to do,” said Julian Zelizer, a presidential historian at Princeton University. “But then he goes on the speaking circuit and makes enormous amounts of money giving lectures mostly to corporate groups and other select audiences. Some Americans can find this distasteful.”
For his part Bush is unabashed. After leaving office, Bush pledged to “replenish the ol’ coffers” after seeing his net worth lock in at a paltry $20 million. Don’t feel sorry for the former President though, his book, Decision Points, has sold 3 million copies and he has raised $300 million for his presidential library.
To quote the former silver-tongued orator in a speech made during office, “This is an impressive crowd: the Haves and the Have-mores. Some people call you elites. I call you my base.” George W. Bush has finally come home — and gotten his paycheck.
Source: The Daily Beast (Peter H. Stone)
~Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger