The Washington Post used a Freedom of Information Act request to get an inside look at just what it takes to get Hillary Clinton to come speak at your university. First of all, there’s the matter of cash: a cool $300,000, which is apparently the “special university rate.” That is the answer UCLA received when it asked whether the public university could get some sort of discount. Undeterred by the price tag, the university moved forward with booking the former secretary of state. Yet the cash was hardly all the university had to put forward as booking the presidential hopeful involved a string of requests that kept organizers busy until she delivered he Luskin Lecture for Thought Leadership speech on March 5, 2014.
The university had decided to award the former secretary of state the UCLA medal. But in a clear example of how carefully Clinton’s people stage-manage her appearances, they asked that the medal be presented in a box rather than draped around her neck. Other demands included:
- On the stage: lemon wedges, room temperature water, a carafe of warm/hot water, coffee cup and saucer
- A computer, mouse, printer and scanner
- Spread of hummus
- Chairs with two long, rectangular pillows and two cushions to be kept backstage in case the former secretary of state “needed additional back support”
- A teleprompter and “2-3 downstage scrolling monitors”
- A special podium (her team rejected the podium that had been set up for her use)
- Room-temperature sparkling and still water
- Diet ginger ale
- Sliced fruit
- Approval for any promotional materials
- Recording is permitted “for archival purposes” and only a two-minute highlight video can be uploaded to YouTube
- “Prestaged” group photos so that Clinton doesn’t have to wait “for these folks to get their act together.” The former secretary of state “doesn’t like to stand around waiting for people.”
A Clinton spokesman refused to comment on the demands.