Former President Barack Obama will reportedly pocket a staggering 3 million dollars today for delivering a speech to a sold-out audience in Milan as part of his lucrative post-presidential speaking tour.
The former President, who has already earned hundreds of thousands of dollars for private speeches since leaving the White House, will make his highest-paying appearance yet at the Global Food Innovation Summit today. Still think the democrats are for the poor and poverty stricken?
President Obama flew into Italy’s business capital Monday, and according to local media headed straight for the extravagant Park Hyatt hotel, which can cost up to $20,000 a night.
After bringing the city to a near standstill with a convoy of 14 cars, a helicopter and a 300-strong police escort, President Obama’s entourage reportedly took over two floors of the hotel.
The former Commander-in-Chief also took a private tour of the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana museum, and the city’s cathedral.
President Obama has enjoyed weeks of holidaying since leaving Washington on January 20, including kite-surging lessons with Richard Branson near his private island.
In a move that was highly criticized even by former colleagues, he picked up $400,000 last week for a speech to Wall Street bankers, but occupy Wall Street right liberals? – which he accepted in September while he was still President.
Mr. Obama could hardly have found safer ground for a return to the global stage than discussing food in Italy. He offered observations about how changing diets around the world were driving increases in carbon emissions from agriculture, and how agricultural interests tended to stick together politically across party lines.
“Because food is so close to us and is part of our family and is part of what we do every single day, people, I think, are more resistant to the idea of government or bureaucrats telling them what to eat, how to eat and how to grow,” he said.
But food may not have been all that was on some attendees’ minds.
Among the prominent attendees was Matteo Renzi, the former prime minister of Italy, with whom Mr. Obama has developed a rapport and whom he mentioned several times, calling him Matteo. Mr. Renzi, who resigned in December after voters rejected constitutional amendments he proposed, is trying to make a political comeback, and hoping that association with Mr. Obama will help him more this time.