Edwards Criticized For Charging Big Bucks To Speak on Poverty

The San Francisco Chronicle finds yet another reason to question John Edwards on poverty:

Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, who as a Democratic presidential candidate recently proposed an educational policy that urged “every financial barrier” be removed for American kids who want to go to college, has been going to college himself — as a high paid speaker, his financial records show.

The candidate charged a whopping $55,000 to speak at to a crowd of 1,787 the taxpayer-funded University of California at Davis on Jan. 9, 2006 last year, Joe Martin, the public relations officer for the campus’ Mondavi Center confirmed Monday.

That amount — which comes to about $31 a person in the audience — included Edwards’ travel and airfare, and was the highest speaking fee in the nine appearances he made before colleges and universities last year, according to his financial records.

The earnings — though made before Edwards was a declared Democratic presidential candidate — could hand ammunition to his competition for the Democratic presidential nomination. The candidate — who was then the head of the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity at the University of North Carolina — chose to speak on “Poverty, the great moral issue facing America,” as his $55,000 topic at UC Davis.

That could cause both parents and students to note some irony here: UC Davis — like the rest of the public University of California system — will get hit this year by a 7 percent tuition increase that likely hits many of the kids his speeches are aimed at helping.

Edwards certainly has the right to charge what the market will bear in order to give a speech. However, as with the $400 haircut, this raises more questions as to his political judgement. A slick talking lawyer like John Edwards can talk his way out of a lot of jams, but, as we saw in 2004, he is out of his league in running for national political office.


  1. 1
    citizen says:

    edwards isnt even worth talking agout.

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    He is worth talking about because he is a factor politically.

    Regardless of whether Edwards should be considered for President, he has a real chance at the nomination. Polls this far out have very little predictive value, and his third place position nationally is close enough to keep him competitive. His strong support in Iowa makes it possible that he could win in Iowa and use that to win afterwards. IIt remains to be seen how lumping so many primaries together so early will affect things, but it is certainly possible that whoever wins Iowa will go into the primaries in early February in a very strong position, especially if the winner in Iowa also wins New Hampshire as Kerry did.

  3. 3
    citizen says:

    no chance, clintons grond campain and organization will pound anyone of her compition. and then loose in the national election.and we will be saying republicans supress the vote and bla bla all over again

  4. 4
    battlebob says:

    Edwards has a wonderful and polished populist message but he seems to be about as politically deaf as Hillary.

  5. 5
    citizen says:

    yes,and she can afford to he cant.

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