I'm a bit more bothered by the scam and grift shop being run by the current occupant of the White House and his family than by the book deal and speaking fees commanded by the former occupant of the White House.
Of course Obama is getting $400,000.00 from investment bankers just to talk to them. That's where the money is, and frankly, Obama will never be in politics again in his life. We've come to that stage where former Presidents must never hold public office again as long as they live Amen! NTodd could tell us who the last POTUS was who left office to return to politics, but it's been so long now nobody can think of who that is (mostly because our President's have been old, and don't want to hold office again. Then again, who would elect W. to anything, even now? Or Bill Clinton, for that matter?).
Obama is a young guy with a long life ahead of him, and he's cashing in on his fame while he can. What else does he have to sell? I know it is required of all right thinking Democrats running for President to be disturbed by these speaking fees, if not to condemn them outright. But if Elizabeth Warren wasn't angling for higher office would she A) be talking about this in the first place?, or b) be taking speaking fees herself, if she could?
She was, after all, a professor at Harvard Law School, not a volunteer worker donating her time and money to a food bank before running for Senate. I mean, if we're going to start worrying about "optics" for this kind of thing, let's make sure the firing squad is properly circled.
Obama is not in government anymore, and he's taking money from people who want to give it to him for services rendered (i.e., giving a speech). He didn't leave the White House to take up a life of monastic penury or ascetic denial. Did you see those pictures of his vacation? I'd like to be able to take a vacation like that and NOT have to go back to work when it was over. We don't expect our Presidents to return to everyday jobs, so why do we disdain Obama's source of income? As I say, I'd rather focus on the corruption of the current occupant of the White House than fret over the appearance of financial impurity in the former occupant of the White House.
Does the Democratic Party, which controls neither the White House nor Congress nor the majority of the 50 states, really need to worry about this right now? At all?