What does it take to get the former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, to speak at a public university? According to reports, officials at the University of California, Los Angeles had to deal with quite a few over the top demands – including a lump sum of $300,000, some hummus, a new podium and more – to appease the requirements of the likely 2016 presidential candidate.
UCLA wanted Clinton to speak at a lecture series privately funded by Meyer Luskin. Being a public university, they wanted to pay Clinton an amount that wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg, which seems justified enough since the request came from an educational institution.
But the Harry Walker Agency, the “world’s number one speaker’s agency” whose clientele includes Hillary and Bill Clinton, responded on their client’s behalf saying that $300,000 was the “special university rate.” (This is, as it turns out, $50,000 more than Bill Clinton’s rate in 2012). So far, it remains unclear how involved Clinton was in these negotiations.
Apart from that, the tiniest of details were fussed over endlessly. Officials, including the university chancellor, Gene Block, were involved in the tedious process of making sure that Clinton’s needs were met. A spread of hummus, crudités, sliced fruit, diet ginger ale and more were made available. Room temperature water (sparkling) along with sliced lemon was a must.
When they wanted to present her with an award, they were instructed exactly how to go about it. They also discussed, at great length, the kinds of chairs Clinton would be seated on. Her representatives had special instructions about the kinds of cushioning that would come with the chair.
Five days before the big day, Clinton’s team also rejected the podium the university had placed in the hall, and it had to be replaced. Other details regarding the photo session, how much video was going to be recorded and how available that would be to the public were also fussed over.
When top university officials are greatly involved in lengthy discussions to suit the needs of one person – even if that person is of importance - it’s quite clear that priorities are not where they should be. On the other hand, the scoop is that Clinton’s probably going to need all of that money when she wants to run for the presidency.