Saturday, September 22, 2007
Normally when a president exits the White House for the very last time they soon embark on a lucrative speaking career. Corporations both here and abroad pay very hefty fees to hear the proverbial wit and wisdom of our former leaders once they've moved on to greener pastures (pun intended). Bill Clinton, one of the most brilliant politicians ever, commands upwards of $250,000-$350,000 per speech. His predecessor, George H.W. Bush, as much as $150,000 per. In fact, Clinton has grossed about $40-million in the past six years.
Which brings us to George W. Bush, the current occupant of the White House, who has fifteen months to go before he hits the lecture circuit. Bush is anxiously awaiting the day when he can "replenish the ol’ coffers," as he put it in Robert Draper’s Bush-presidency book "Dead Certain."
“I don’t know what my dad gets, but it’s more than 50, 75 thousand dollars a speech. Clinton’s making a lot of money."
That's right, George. Clinton does make a lot of dough. That doesn't mean you're going to. I mean, honestly folks, who in their right mind would pay good money to hear him speak? He could care less about the issues on a micro level; he's extremely limited and has the curiosity and attention-span of a 10-year-old; is narrow-minded; and can't string two intelligent, coherent sentences together without the bail-out of a TelePrompTer. Just what the heck would he speak about anyway? His successful military strategy? His deft handling of matters economic...like how to balance a budget and minimize debt? How to win friends and influence people through skillful diplomacy? How to attract the best and brightest and most ethical staff? If it wasn't so pathetic it'd be funny.
Perhaps some far away land like Dubai or Sri Lanka might someday need some lessons in clearing brush, in which case George is their boy. And probably at a cool $5K per....
On another note, we could use your help at The The Adrienne Shelly Foundation. We are a tax-exempt, non-profit organization dedicated in my wife's honor to help carry out her spirit and passion, with the goal of assisting women filmmakers. Adrienne was brutally killed in NYC on November 1, 2006. Through the Foundation, her commitment to filmmaking lives on. We've established scholarships, grants, finishing funds and living stipends at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts/Kanbar Institute of Film; Columbia University; American Film Institute; Women in Film; the Independent Feature Project; the Nantucket Film Festival; and the Sundance Institute.
On November 12 in NYC we will be holding our first annual Fundraising Gala, with a musical performance by Alanis Morissette followed by a celebrity reading of Adrienne's script "The Morgan Stories," featuring Paul Rudd, Edie Falco, Matt Dillon, Ally Sheedy and many others. To learn more about our mission, to make a tax-deductible donation, and to sign up to receive details about the November benefit please visit our website. Every contribution helps preserve Adrienne's legacy, allows us to help others, and creates something positive out of this tragedy.
Adrienne's film "Waitress" opened in theatres May 2nd to rave reviews from the NY Times, LA Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Time, People, Entertainment Weekly, Ebert & Roeper ("Two Thumbs Up"), Leonard Maltin and others, and has so far grossed $19-million domestically and almost $1-million internationally. The DVD will be available in November. It's a truly wonderful film that you're sure to love. A link to the trailer is below. Enjoy.