Hillary Clinton pretends to know all about middle-class struggles, but her prima donna public appearance demands show her to be more diva than housewife.
Clinton’s handlers at the Harry Walker Agency micromanaged a speaking engagement at the University of California Los Angeles, down to the smallest details, according to email exchanges uncovered by The Washington Post through a Freedom of Information Act request.
Clinton’s appearance required specialized attention, with her representatives specifying what kind of armchairs and pillows she and the moderator would use; that her drinking water be delivered with lemon wedges; and requiring that she have access to a computer, scanner, hummus and “crudité” in the green room. When her team rejected the podium provided for her speech during a walk-through five days before the talk, university officials went on a mad dash to find something more suitable for the queen’s taste.
The documents show the agency asked for “a carafe of warm/hot water, coffee cup and saucer, pitcher of room temperature water, water glass, and lemon wedges” and that the green room come with “coffee, tea, room temp sparkling and still water, diet ginger ale, crudité, hummus and sliced fruit,” according to The Post.
She even had exact directions for how the UCLA Medal would be presented to her — in a box, not draped around her neck.
“I can either have the jewelers box open or closed, in case the Chancellor doesn’t want to risk opening it,” UCLA administrator Patricia Lippert wrote Clinton’s representatives.
Clinton also agreed to take 50 pictures, which would include photos with VIP couples and two group shots, but even those were carefully choreographed.
The group photos had to be staged with everyone in position and ready before Clinton arrived, “so the secretary isn’t waiting for these folks to get their act together,” Lippert wrote to colleagues. “She doesn’t like to stand around waiting for people.”
But it was Clinton’s speaking fee that appeared to take university officials by surprise. When they asked for a discount, they were informed that the $300,000 price tag was the “special university rate.”
It seems the potential 2016 presidential hopeful is pricier than even past presidents. When Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, spoke at UCLA in 2012, he charged $250,000.
“Wow! She get’s $50K more than hubby!” Guy Wheatley, a UCLA development official, wrote in one email.
Following the appearance school officials argued about how they should handle an email complaint from alum Charles McKenna who was concerned about the exorbitant cost of tickets for the event, according to the Post.
“In effect, this is a campaign appearance, as Ms. Clinton is undeniably looking into a presidential run in 2016,” McKenna wrote to the school. “Why is a public university charging the public for the pleasure of providing Ms. Clinton the benefit of a high profile platform?”
A university official advised in an email that the school should not reply to McKenna “unless he pushes” as another university official said that while he was a donor he hadn’t donated large amounts, reported the Post.
McKenna never did get a reply to his email.
“If you’re a big shot, you get attention. I’m not a big shot, by any stretch of the imagination, ” McKenna told the Post.
When it comes to the Clintons, money talks.
@Slate How much do we have to pay her to express an opinion re: the goings on in Ferguson? Noticeably silent.
— rb (@twitingmachine) November 28, 2014
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