Emails between Hillary Clinton’s handlers and UCLA administrators reveal that the Clinton team micromanages her $300,000 appearances–down to the count of lemon wedges, color of stage armchairs, and type of cushions she uses in those chairs.
The emails, obtained by The Washington Post in a Freedom of Information Act request, show the months of negotiations and the number of hoops that the authorities at the University of California at Los Angeles had to jump through to satisfy Hillary Clinton’s handlers.
The emails show the rock star-like manner in which Team Hillary operates. “Clinton’s representatives at the Harry Walker Agency exerted considerable control over her appearance and managed even the smallest details,” the paper reported.
Team Hillary demanded lemon wedges, water, plates of hummus and crudité, special podiums, just the right color armchairs, a retinue of different cushions for her tender back, special microphones, and multiple teleprompters. Clinton’s team even rejected the first podium, sending the university scrambling to find one that better suited the former secretary of state.
The emails reveal that negotiations for the appearance dragged on from February 1, 2013, until March 5, 2014, the very day she delivered her Luskin Lecture for Thought Leadership speech.
Some of the emails revealed school authorities felt her $300,000 price tag for delivering the speech was too high and asked Clinton for her university discount price. Administrators, however, were brusquely told via email that the $300,000 fee was the discounted price.
This surprised the school, as they had hosted Bill Clinton in 2012 and only paid him $250,000, prompting one administrator to write, “Wow! She get’s [sic] $50K more than hubby!”
The school also found itself in a controversy among its students over the high cost of Clinton’s appearance. Because the cost was so high, the school cut back on free tickets for students and hiked costs of other seats to $2,000 in some cases.
Critics said that it seemed wrong that a university was cutting off the very students who were supposed to be enlightened by such speeches.
Some complaining of the costs wondered why the school was footing the bill for what amounted to a 2016 campaign rally.
“In effect, this is a campaign appearance, as Ms. Clinton is undeniably looking into a presidential run in 2016,” one email said. “Why is a public university charging the public for the pleasure of providing Ms. Clinton the benefit of a high profile platform?”
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at email@example.com.