Thursday, March 01, 2007

Free Speech?

At the end of the Civil War, General Robert E. Lee, who refused to give newspaper interviews throughout his life, was asked to write his memoirs. He refused. “I should be trading on the blood of my men,” he said.

Things have changed. Today’s political uproar is over Hillary Clinton’s ethics disclosure that her husband, the former President, earned $31 million in speaking fees during a five-year period.

Republicans are upset that some of it might end up in her campaign chest. Democrats are pointing to the $2 million Ronald Reagan earned for one speech in Japan and to the fact that Bush the Elder walked off a dais with Global Crossing stock eventually valued at $14 million.

They used to say talk is cheap.

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