Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was invited to deliver the commencement address at Rutgers University and receive an honorary doctorate for which she would have been paid $35,000, enough money to pay the tuition and fees for three students for a year for residents of New Jersey.
Paying people tens of thousands of dollars to speak for about 35 minutes is an outrage, and I don’t care who it is, especially when a school like Rutgers gets money taken from tax payers to exist.
On a related story, writer Jim McElhatton reported that “Bill Clinton accepted a $225,000 speaking fee from the nonprofit Washington Hospital Center smack in the middle of two big rounds of layoffs in 2012.” He added, “The $225,000 payment wasn’t made public by the hospital on its annual Internal Revenue Service forms, but rather appeared among dozens of lucrative speeches by Mr. Clinton reported on his wife’s final ethics filing as secretary of state.”
“As Clinton took home hundreds of thousands of dollars, ‘the hospital’s financial troubles have been well-documented with reports of layoffs affecting 200 workers in 2011 and another 300 employees last year.’”
A non-profit organization has no business paying anybody that much money. Where are the liberal protestations?
While the Condoleezza Rice disinvitation has gotten a lot of press, very little has been said of Bill Clinton’s exorbitant speaking fees from a hospital that has had to lay off hundreds of workers.
So instead of protesting the fee, Rutgers University professors and students are protesting the invitation of Rice because of her political views and probably because she’s not black enough (thought but never stated).
“The resolution said Rutgers should not honor Rice because of her role in the war in Iraq and the Bush administration’s policy of ‘enhanced interrogation techniques,’ such as waterboarding, the report said.
“‘Condoleezza Rice … played a prominent role in the administration’s effort to mislead the American people about the presence of weapons of mass destruction,’ the faculty resolution said.”
If you study the lists of those who do speak at major colleges and universities across the United States, you’ll find nary a conservative among them. Colleges only want speakers who confirm their already-entrenched worldview.
Not everybody agreed with the call to disinvite Rice, although nothing was said about the outrageous fee that she would be paid.
“Greg Trevor, a spokesperson for the school, told New Brunswick Today, ‘Dr. Rice is a highly accomplished and respected diplomat, scholar and author, and we are excited that she has agreed to address our graduates and guests at commencement.’”
These are the same people – on both sides of the political aisle – who want more tax money spent on education but see no problem flushing $35,000 down the commencement toilet.
I’ll speak for at Rutgers for a tenth of what they were going to pay Rice and I’ll give a much more interesting and memorable address.