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Progressive payday! Michelle Obama gets $741K for 1-hour speech

By Jake Beardslee · September 26, 2023

In brief…

  • Michelle Obama was paid $741,000 for a one-hour talk at a Munich tech conference.
  • She spoke about diversity and overcoming self-doubt to 5,000 attendees.
  • Organizers said she has been the most desired speaker for years.
  • The one-hour speaking fee is almost double President Biden's annual salary.
  • Michelle Obama is seen as a potential Democratic candidate for president in 2024.
Former First Lady Michelle Obama (above) received $741,000 for a one-hour speech at a Munich tech conference.  West Point/Creative Commons

Former First Lady Michelle Obama was paid a ginormous speaking fee of €700,000 (approximately $741,000) for a one-hour talk at a tech conference in Munich, Germany on Monday, fueling speculation over her prospects as a potential 2024 presidential candidate.

The 59-year-old Harvard Law grad spoke to roughly 5,000 attendees at the annual “Bits and Pretzels” startup forum held nearby the famed Oktoberfest beer festival. Her speech focused on “push[ing] past self-doubt while discussing the importance of inclusivity and diversity,” the event’s website stated.

Organizers said Obama has “topped the list” of desired speakers “year after year.”

“They really pulled out all the stops to get her,” one insider told the Daily News. “It’s one of the highest fees that they have ever paid.”

Obama’s one-hour earnings dwarf President Joe Biden’s $400,000 annual salary. Other speakers included former German soccer star Oliver Kahn.

Obama served as First Lady during her husband Barack Obama’s two terms from 2009-2017. She has been rumored as a potential replacement candidate for Biden in 2024 should the present incumbent bow out. Many Democratic leaders worry Biden could lose in a rematch with Donald Trump.

Even top Republicans such as Texas Sen. Ted Cruz have raised the prospect of a last-minute Michelle Obama candidacy. “Here’s the scenario that I think is perhaps most likely, and most dangerous,” Cruz said on his podcast. “In August of 2024, the Democrat kingmakers jettison Joe Biden and parachute in Michelle Obama.”

Obama remains highly popular, scoring a 77% favorable rating in a recent poll. President Obama spoke at the same Munich conference three years ago, but his fee was undisclosed.

Since leaving the White House, the Obamas have earned hundreds of millions of dollars through speaking engagements and film and book deals.