Hillary Clinton headlined a lavish fundraiser for the University of Nevada Las Vegas last night, at the posh Bellagio Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas strip. She graced the crowd with her presence for a full 90 minutes and made a short speech, for which she earned a hefty $225,000 payout.
In her keynote speech, Hillary Clinton assailed higher education’s high cost and slammed the concept of saddling college students with insurmountable student debt, telling the crowd that higher education shouldn’t be a luxury reserved to the few and the privileged, all as guests chowed down on $200-per-plate meals.
“Millions of other young people are burdened by student debt that can feel like an anchor tied to their feet dragging them down,” Clinton told attendees at an event hosted by the UNLV Foundation…“Higher education shouldn’t be a privilege for those able to afford,” Clinton told the crowd on Monday, according to Steve Sebelius, a political columnist at the Las Vegas Journal-Review. “It should be an opportunity widely available to everybody.”
According to reports from some in attendance at the $200 per plate event, Clinton’s remarks were guarded and stale — typical of most speeches she has given recently, as she reportedly prepares for a 2016 presidential bid.
Her timing on the student debt issue couldn’t have been better. In the weeks before they shelled out $225,000 to Mrs. Clinton, UNLV announced that it will be raising tuition prices 17% over the next four years. Two UNLV student government leaders even posted a video “open letter” to Mrs. Clinton asking that she return the $225,000 to UNLV so that it can better serve its students, rather than taking the full amount for the Clinton Global Initiative, as she planned. They claim that her commitment to higher education should probably include a commitment not to take money that could be better spent on scholarships to underprivileged and economically-challenged students.
Mrs. Clinton obviously didn’t agree. Though it appears she did do the speech for a cut rate (since she normally charges an even $300K, but this time they didn’t need the portion of the fee typically allocated for her private jet).
So what does the $225K (plus private stenographer’s fee) cover? According a Clinton rider from a previous speech, the UNLV package probably includes:
So after all that, was it worth the $225K for the attendees? Survey says no. But at least they got a tasty dinner out of it. And Hillary Clinton got a quick trip to Vegas.