One of the more controversial aspects of Hillary Clinton’s pre-campaign situation is coming to an end.
Her appearance at the New York and New Jersey chapter of the American Camp Association in Atlantic City on Thursday is the last paid speech on Clinton’s known calendar.
The paid speech was a staple of Clinton’s last two years, both a way of staying in the public eye but also a target for critics. Commanding an average fee between $200,000 and $300,000, Clinton spoke to a varying mix of groups.
Clinton headlined events at colleges and universities as well, including Simmons College in Boston, the University of Miami in Florida, and the University at Buffalo in New York. She went abroad, delivering paid speeches in Canada and Mexico, according to CNN.
Both Democrats and Republicans questioned why she would give paid speeches ahead of ahead of (or during) a presidential bid.
Clinton aides argued that the speaking fees from universities and some nonprofits went to the The Clinton Foundation, not directly to Clinton’s pocket, but the explanation failed to halt concerns, says CNN.
When Clinton spoke at the University of Nevada Las Vegas in October, students protested the fact that the college was paying Clinton a $225,000 speaking fee at the same time that they were raising tuition.
While controversial, the speeches served a purpose for Clinton in addition to collecting a paycheck: They provided the former secretary of state with opportunities to comment on the biggest news story of the moment in a controlled environment where media were kept hundreds of feet away, states CNN.