Paid their dues? Political heavyweights rake in big bucks on lucrative speaking circuit

Paid their dues? Political heavyweights rake in big bucks on lucrative speaking circuit
Barack Obama secured his first post-presidential speaking fee this week, commanding a reported $400,000 from a Wall Street bank.

Now in the ranks of political heavyweights earning enormous sums for speeches, Obama quickly followed up his first booking with another $400,000 fee, this time for an event with cable network advertisers.

Speaking engagements are a good source of income for former members of public office –  and the former US president looks set to overtake all other top political earners.

READ MORE: Obama secures $800,000 for two speaking engagements

His predecessor, George H.W Bush has in the past been forgiving of those on the speaking circuit, saying in 1989: “Everybody’s got to make a living.”

Bill Clinton, too, defended his prosperous speaking career by declaring in 2015: “I gotta pay our bills.”

Here, we take a closer look at some of the most high profile speeches given by public figures in recent times – and how much they reportedly earned from them.