Former US President Barack Obama to ‘make $400k’ for his Wall Street Journal speech

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April 25, 2017

Barack Obama has reportedly agreed to speak at a Wall Street conference for almost half a million dollars.

The former President, who left the White House almost 100 days ago, is said to be appearing at Cantor Fitzgeralds LP’s healthcare conference as a keynote speaker in September.

April 25, 2017

Barack Obama has reportedly agreed to speak at a Wall Street conference for almost half a million dollars.

The former President, who left the White House almost 100 days ago, is said to be appearing at Cantor Fitzgeralds LP’s healthcare conference as a keynote speaker in September.

Mr. Obama’s reported speech fee is nearly twice as much as Hillary Clinton has charged private companies for similar style events.

According to Fox Business, Obama has signed the contract for the event but the company is waiting to finalize arrangements with the former President before making a formal announcement. Obama is still contractually able to pull out of the event with the mid-size New York based investment bank if he so wishes.

Mr Obama took to the stage in Chicago for his first public appearance since Donald Trump’s inauguration on Monday. Returning to the city he launched his political career in, he warned of the increasing polarization of US politics.

The former President revealed his first post-White House project would centre on urging the next generation to become more politicized and civically engaged.

“There’s a reason why I’m always optimistic, even when things aren’t necessarily going the way I want, and that is because of young people like this,” the 55-year-old said, gesturing to the young adults who joined him on the panel discussion.

Obama adhered to the tradition of giving new President's some leeway in the early period of the administration and did not mention President Trump in the entirety of his speech. Although at the beginning he did joke: "So, what’s been going on while I’ve been gone?”

Just a day before, the former south side Chicago community organiser met with at-risk young men and boys from the Chicago Create Real Economic Destiny programme which is a job skills scheme.

Obama has kept a relatively low profile since packing his bags and leaving the White House. He has enjoyed some downtime with former First Lady Michelle Obama at a resort in Tetiaroa – the South Pacific island once owned by Marlon Brando – where he has started work on penning his White House memoir.

The former president also went kitesurfing on Mosquito Island on the British Virgin Islands alongside billionaire entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson. While there, he took time out of his holiday to condemn President Trump’s highly controversial travel ban.

“The President fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith or religion,” Mr. Obama's spokesman said in a statement.

“Citizens exercising their Constitutional rights to assemble, organize and have their voices heard by their elected officials is exactly what we expect to see when American values are at stake.”

Mr. Trump signed an executive order restricting travel from seven majority-Muslim countries days after arriving in the White House. After prompting chaos across airports worldwide, a federal judge blocked the order in February.

The President issued a revised hardline immigration ban in March that blocks new visas for people from six Muslim-majority countries and temporarily halts the US refugee programme. However US District Judge Derrick Watson issued a temporary restraining order against the revised ban after the state of Hawaii filed a lawsuit challenging it.

The Independent contacted a representative for Obama.


Courtesy: Independent