Obama’s Paid Speeches Add Fuel to Democrats’ Identity Crisis Obama’s Paid Speeches Add Fuel to Democrats’ Identity Crisis – NTK Network

Obama’s Paid Speeches Add Fuel to Democrats’ Identity Crisis

The former president is raking in a cool $400k for a speech at a health care conference in September. What would Bernie say?

By NTK Staff | 04.25.2017 @3:40pm
Obama’s Paid Speeches Add Fuel to Democrats’ Identity Crisis

Paid speeches are back in the news, and for once, we’re not talking about the Clintons. President Obama is scheduled to deliver a speech at a health care conference in September. Financial services firm Cantor Fitzgerald is putting on the conference and is paying the former president $400,000 for his trouble.

And while paid speeches come in all shapes, sizes, and motivations, the specter of yet another prominent Democrat going down this path is causing heartburn among the left. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) famously raked Hillary Clinton over the coals for delivering closed-door paid speeches to financial groups.

Ultimately, the issue hurt Clinton’s credibility and may have contributed to her stunning defeat in November.

At least one left-wing writer, Vox’s Matthew Yglesias, is worried Obama may succumb to the same public perception, should he make a habit of delivering paid speeches:

Obama should take seriously the message it sends to those young people if he decides to make a career out of buckraking. He knows that Hillary Clinton isn’t popular with the youth cohort the way he is. And he knows that populists on both the left and the right want to make a sweeping ideological critique of all center-left politics, not just a narrow personal one of Clinton. Does Obama want them to win that battle and carry the day with the message that mainstream politics is just a moneymaking hustle?

Obama’s paid speech is just the latest development in an ongoing soap opera playing out within the Democratic Party. Last week’s so-called “Unity Tour” failed miserably, and another round of the paid speech battle could further fray and already-splintered party.

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