Hillary Clinton expected to make big bucks for speeches

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will step U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will step down from her position Friday afternoon. (April 24, 2012) Photo Credit: Getty Images

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Hillary Rodham Clinton's two cents on politics and world issues is likely going to earn her a pretty penny.

Now that she's stepped down as secretary of state, the former U.S. senator from New York and first lady is being represented by the Harry Walker Agency -- a public-speaker booking company. She is poised to make enough money on the speech circuit to rival what her husband, former President Bill Clinton, brings in.

The agency also represents her husband, former Vice President Dick Cheney and former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. It didn't return calls for comment, but political experts say a possible presidential candidate could demand quite a high fee.

"I know Herman Cain can make close to $50,000 for speeches. Hillary Clinton can definitely make close to $250,000," said Christina Greer, an assistant professor of political science at Fordham University.

George Arzt, the president of George Arzt Communications, which specializes in public relations for politicians, agreed and said the figure could be higher in foreign countries.

Arzt represented the late Ed Koch -- who earned $100,000 a speech and even more when he talked abroad. He said Clinton could bring in $1 million a speech overseas.

Bill Clinton got a check for $750,000 in 2011 for a speech at a telecommunications group in Hong Kong. That year, he raked in $13.4 million from 54 speeches. A lot of the issues she dealt with during her four-year tenure, such as the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the political movements in the Middle East and the economic troubles in Europe, are still relevant and people would be interested to see what her take is on those topics, according to Sheinkopf.

"Her experience came at a time during a tremendous shift in world politics," he said.

Evan Stavisky, a political consultant with the Parkside Group, said public speaking is good for politicians and the public. Unlike joining a law firm or political group like other former presidential candidates, Clinton can give her take on public policy and parlay that into a possible 2016 run without looking like a lobbyist, according to Stavisky.

"When you're Hillary Clinton, it's not about getting more . . . [popularity]. She is one of the most admired persons worldwide," he said.

"This is an opportunity to give thoughtful insight," he said. With Shelia Anne Feeney

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