According to Hillary Clinton’s Financial Disclosure Form, the Clintons made $25 million in speaking fees alone since January of 2014. They have received significant scrutiny recently regarding their finances and influence peddling with media confirmation of allegations in Peter Schweizer’s book, Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich. As the Clinton Foundation and Hillary Clinton receive added attention regarding past financial dealings, it appears that Hillary Clinton was being paid, albeit indirectly, by potential presidential opponent Jeb Bush as well.
Academic Partnerships, a for-profit education company paid Hillary Clinton $225,500 on March 24, 2014 for speaking at an invitation-only event in Dallas, Texas. Academic Partnerships assists universities in converting their academic degree programs into online versions that can be taken by students around the world. During her speech Clinton reportedly said, “today a student doesn’t need to travel to Cambridge, Mass., or Cambridge, England, to get a world-class education.”
Jeb Bush joined Academic Partnerships in 2011 as an investor, paid adviser and sat on the Board until Dec. 2014, when he resigned to begin preparing for a run for the Republican presidential nomination. He helped the company host multiple conferences, has appeared in numerous online videos promoting the Academic Partnership business model and Jeb Bush also spoke at the same conference, although he did not share the stage with Clinton. However, they have shared the stage before, in September 2013, Jeb Bush presented Hillary Clinton with the Liberty Medal from the National Constitution Center recognizing her lifelong career in public service on the eve of the Benghazi Attack Anniversary.
While it is not unusual for politicians to come together in bipartisan support for education initiatives, during election cycle politics some may be uncomfortable with one potential presidential candidate having paid another, even through the auspices of supporting education. There are many Americans who see little difference between the political parties and view such interactions as evidence of a political establishment, disconnected from the people. Some who are hyper-partisan may find such dealings distasteful as well. While others have no desire to see another Bush or another Clinton in office again at all. There are those who view the nearly quarter million dollar speaking fee as excessive, but it is about average for her speaking engagements. In fact she received similar speaking fees from multiple corporations and advocacy groups throughout 2014. According to reports, as much as half of the $10.2 million she earned in 2014 came from such corporations and advocacy groups who were actively lobbying Congress at the time, according to TIME, which always makes some people uncomfortable.
As the old saying goes, “Politics makes strange bedfellows.” ~ Charles Dudley Warner (September 12, 1829 – October 20, 1900)