Hillary Clinton to step out on lucrative public speaking circuit
(Guardian (UK) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton plans to begin giving paid speeches this spring, in the first phase of her public life after four years in Barack Obama's administration, according to reports.
Clinton is likely to draw fees in the high six-figures for some talks. She has signed on with the Harry Walker agency, which also handles speaking engagements for her husband and former president Bill Clinton. The news was first reported on Sunday by Politico, the Washington-based politics website.
She is being closely watched to see whether she intends to run for the presidency in 2016, although has not yet stated an intention to do so.
Bill Clinton earned $13.4m (pounds 8.6m) from speaking engagements in 2011, a personal record, according to financial disclosures filed by Hillary Clinton. In November 2011, the former president was paid $750,000 for a single speech in Hong Kong to the telecommunications company Ericsson.
Hillary Clinton has said her immediate plans are to relax after an unusually active four years. Last month, in a joint appearance on 60 Minutes with Obama, she coyly batted away questions over any White House succession plan.
"Obviously the president and I care deeply about what's going to happen for our country in the future. And I don't think, you know, either he or I can make predictions about what's going to happen tomorrow or the next year," she said.
As secretary of state, she visited 102 countries, more than any previous secretary, putting in 351 travel days over four years, according to the state department.
A survey this month by Quinnipiac University, a major pollster, found that Clinton is the most popular political figure in the United States, with a 61-34 split in her favourability rating. She has been a central figure on the national political stage for two decades, from the time her husband was elected president in 1992, through her Senate career of 2000-2008, her presidential run and her cabinet post.
When the new secretary of state, John Kerry, took up the post earlier this month, he acknowledged that as Clinton's successor he had "big heels to fill".
Clinton has said she plans to write a book about her time as the nation's top diplomat. In 2000, she earned a near-record advance of $8m for her memoir of the White House years. At the time, only the Pope had netted more for a book advance.
(c) 2013 Guardian Newspapers Limited.
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