Thursday, May 17, 2007

Filthy Rich Candidates Come Clean

A post here yesterday asked a foolish question about the ’08 Presidential contenders: “Why are they so embarrassed about revealing how rich they are?” Rudy Giuliani and John Edwards have just given us the answer.

America’s Mayor earned $16.1 million in the past 16 months, mostly from speaking fees. The champion of the Two Americas’ poor has $29.1 million in assets.

Politics has never paid this well before, at least not in reported earnings, but then again politics has never been this much like show business. Stars do not come cheap.

Giuliani got $100,000 per speech to brighten up dreary business conventions. Edwards collected $479,512 salary from Fortress Investment Group last year for consulting, but it was only a part-time job and, as he assured us last week, it was educational.

No one believes politicians should take vows of poverty, but a nagging doubt persists. If those we may entrust with the fate of our country are worth so much as box-office performers, can we be sure they are up to doing the job?

We have some bad experiences recently with electing a “name.”

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