Like his politics and actions or not, while in office, President Obama and his family had no scandals. None. A brilliant attorney and former Washington lawmaker, Obama has ties to a broad spectrum of private and public sector sources that could’ve caused him to have blurred lines where ethics are concerned. That didn’t happen.
In contrast, Saturday marked Donald Trump’s 100th day in office and his administration has been overwhelmed with scandal and controversy since before he took the oath of office. Moreover, even amid scandal, Trump refuses to humble himself and concede to the fact that his paramount job is to serve and protect the interests of the American people, not serve and protect his personal needs and wants.
Simply put, President Obama and Donald Trump are apples and oranges where matters of ethics, leadership, and respect for the American people, are concerned. Therefore, when beloved Sen. Elizabeth Warren expressed being “troubled” because former President Obama agreed to speak at a Wall Street conference on health care, and be compensated $400K, Warren was in essence told to have several seats:
So Elizabeth Warren, Bernie bots and emoprogs are complaining about Barack Obama speaking fees? Eff them! pic.twitter.com/vGHLer1iiM
— Russ (@BlkPoliticSport) April 28, 2017
I love you Elizabeth Warren but I have no problem with Barack Obama getting $400K a speech. It’s the least he deserves at this point
— ATversky (@introvertedN2) April 27, 2017
For those rushing to claim that President Obama’s willingness to accept Wall Street money makes him a hypocrite, his spokesman pointed out:
‘With regard to this or any speech involving Wall Street sponsors, I’d just point out that in 2008, Barack Obama raised more money from Wall Street than any candidate in history — and still went on to successfully pass and implement the toughest reforms on Wall Street since [former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt].’
The reality is that Barack Obama is a former President, and while emphasis could go on the word “former,” the bigger issue is that people are finding room to question how much he is getting paid to talk about something he is a legitimate expert on. After all, he is the first President in history to successfully implement health care for all. That alone enables him to charge and accept whatever he wants and people are willing to pay.
Now, critics are at it again; the New York Post reports President Obama earned another $400K for appearing at the A&E Networks advertising upfront at The Pierre Hotel. In return for his earnings, he conducted an interview for over 90 minutes with presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin in front of A&E’s cable advertisers.
Is President Obama supposed to give his time for free? Is he supposed to charge less than he feels he is worth because people like Elizabeth Warren and alt-right antagonists say he should?
What exactly is it that people want Obama to do, or not to do for that matter? After all, even Fortune magazine reminds that one of the reasons politicians look forward to leaving office is because their fee for one appearance often far exceeds their earnings for one year while in office.
The reality is that despite hateful, racist, and otherwise ignorant treatment by some, President Obama still managed to be one of the most inclusive, welcoming, charming and charismatic Presidents in history. It’s totally a catch 22 packed with implicit bias and undertones of double standards based on skin color to have used him for those positive attributes while he was in office, then say those same qualities can’t help him earn a living now that he is out of office.
Seemingly every President before him has used his lifetime title of President to get paid for speaking. Why can’t President Obama do the same without being talked badly about?
Featured Image via Getty/Mark Wilson/Staff