Amazingly at 400 K per talk, he has changed his tune.
Barry loves Wall Street.
WASHINGTON — Two post-presidential Barack Obamas emerged this week.
The first was the civic-minded one, seated on a stage in Chicago, where he talked about the importance of community organizing and told a student audience that he had succeeded in politics because people believed “my values were not so different from theirs.”
The other was the one set to cash a $400,000 check from Wall Stree, the same amount as his yearly salary during his time in the White House, when he delivers a speech in September at a health care conference run by Cantor Fitzgerald, a trading and investment firm.
On Wednesday, Mr. Obama’s spokesman defended the former president’s coming speech, saying Mr. Obama decided to give it because health care changes were important to him.
The spokesman, Eric Schultz, noted that Cantor Fitzgerald is a Wall Street firm but pointed out in a statement that as a presidential candidate, Mr. Obama raised money from Wall Street and went on to aggressively regulate it.
Throughout his years in the White House, Mr. Obama championed the problems of the poor even as he showed an affinity for Hollywood superstars, elite artists and technology billionaires.
As he left the White House, Mr. Obama made it clear that he wanted to continue working for those who struggle to climb what he often called the “ladders of opportunity.”
During his remarks on Monday to students at the University of Chicago, he spoke about the need to pursue the right things in life, not just fame or money.
“If you’re more concerned with ‘I want to be a congressman’ or ‘I want to be a senator’ or ‘I want to be rich,’ some people may succeed in chasing that goal, but when they get there, they don’t know what to do with it,” Mr. Obama said.
But the former president’s departure from office was also marked by the mother of all parties: a celebrity-filled White House romp two weeks before Inauguration Day that went past 4 a.m. and included guests like Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney.
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