We’ve all heard the stories about rock stars and their outlandish demands for certain “requirements” backstage at their concerts. Who can forget Van Halen and their fondness for M&M’s? Their demand for a huge bowl of M&M’s with all the brown ones removed seems tame by comparison with some of today’s stars.
For example, Lady Gaga wants white leather couches, Jameson’s Whiskey, and organic foods. Simple enough, right? There’s more, though. During her Monster’s Ball tour, Lady Gaga also demanded silver satin walls in her dressing room, along with white leather couches, black satin drapes, and posters of famous rock stars.
I can imagine the conversation as it unfolds:
“That’s quite a redecorating task, but I think we’ll be able to accommodate you, Ms. Gaga. Will there be anything else?”
“Yes, I want the backstage bathroom fully stocked with lavender-colored bath towels, wash towels, washcloths, and soap. I also want sea-foam loofah sponges, candles, and fresh roses. All lavender.”
“I see. Will there be anything else?”
“Yes, one more thing. In the dressing room, I must have a mannequin with puffy pink pubic hair.”
At this point, the conversation no doubt comes to an uncomfortably awkward pause…
Don’t get me wrong, I know a conversation like this would never happen, because it’s all written into the contract and agreed to beforehand. And in the case of Lady Gaga, it was all there – even the request for the mannequin with the puffy pink pubic hair. (Note to self…)
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By contrast, let’s take a look at Hillary Clinton’s current contract demands for speaking engagements. Hillary may not be in the same league with Lady Gaga or others, but she’s obviously taking her cues from them. Want her to speak at an event you’re hosting? Be prepared to have a fat bank account if you do.
For a start, there’s the $300,000 speaking fee. She also demands twenty seats for her personally invited guests. But here’s where her expenses really start to pile on…
She requires a chartered Gulfstream G450 or larger jet to accommodate a minimum of sixteen people. Also, there are the airline business class tickets for two advance staffers to scout the location. Round trip, of course, for all.
She requires a presidential hotel suite be booked for her, along with up to five other rooms for her aides and staff. Which hotel is ultimately chosen is completely up to her staff, not you. In addition, her lead travel aide gets $500. Still want to book her to speak? If so, you should also expect to pick up the tab on all incidental expenses and phone charges incurred by her or any of her staff, along with all meals, and there’s no reason to assume this woman, or for that matter her aides, will economize. I would imagine it to be the contrary. Along with all that, she requires a stenographer at $1,250, and you don’t get a written copy of her speech; the stenographer is for Hillary alone.
As if that weren’t enough, the contract states that she has to stay at your event no longer than ninety minutes, and you can’t take more than fifty photos – with no more than a hundred people, and that includes any guests she brings.
There must be no advertising before the event, and no press coverage of the event itself. You’re also cautioned not to record her speech on video or audio. Hillary requires that she be the only one onstage during her speech, and she also insists upon final approval of all moderators or introducers.
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Mrs. Clinton isn’t really making herself easy to like for the 2016 Democratic nomination, although as of this writing, she’s the only one being talked about seriously. With the specter of Benghazi and the subsequent Senate testimony she gave, to the comment she made about herself and former president Bill Clinton being dead broke when they left the White House while promoting her new book, to her exorbitant fee and other perks for speaking engagements, Hillary has placed herself in an unenviable position.
Although I’m tempted by common sense to say we’re safe from a Clinton presidency, recent history reminds me we’re not. After all, when we elected Obama, I thought it was a fluke, but then we reelected him. God help us all.