George W. Bush: Too busy to honor those who died when he allowed our country to be attacked, but now raking in millions

by Ben Hoffman

When George W. Bush declined President Obama’s invitation to a ceremony at New York’s ground zero after Osama bin Laden was killed, the former president cited his desire to keep a low public profile.

But Bush has been raising his profile in a different, and lucrative, way: He has raked in millions of dollars since leaving office by making scores of speeches that typically earn him six figures a pop.

In the week after Obama’s May 5 ground zero event, the 43rd president made time for three separate speeches to hedge-fund executives, a Swiss bank sanctioned for keeping secret bank accounts, and a pro golf event underwritten by the accounting firm involved in the Tyco International financial scandal.

Bush’s standard speaking fee is reportedly between $100,000 and $150,000.

David Sherzer, a spokesman for the former president, said that since Bush left office he has delivered nearly 140 paid talks, at home and abroad. Those speeches have earned Bush about $15 million, following in the golden path blazed by his predecessor, Bill Clinton.

Almost all of Bush’s speeches are closed to the press. Bush uses the Washington Speakers Bureau to arrange his paid speaking gigs.

To some presidential historians, Bush’s numerous high-priced speaking engagements don’t sit well. “I find it puzzling,” said Stanford University historian Robert Dallek. “He says he wants to keep a low profile. What is he doing except enriching himself? It sounds like it’s self-serving. It’s following the good old American adage to make as much as you can.”

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For right-wingers, it’s all about the money.

3 Comments to “George W. Bush: Too busy to honor those who died when he allowed our country to be attacked, but now raking in millions”

  1. Mr. Hoffman ,

    So tell me honestly , if President Bush had accepted President Obama’s invitation to the ground zero ceremony , wouldn’t you have blasted him anyway ? Wouldn’t you have just accused him of trying to get some credit for Osama’s death ?

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