UPDATE: Sarah Palin declared on Fox News that she would not profit off her speech at the Tea Party convention. But she was vague on the details.
"There's controversy involved in this one because the tea party offered me a speaking fee. I will not financially be gaining anything from this," Palin told Bill O'Reilly.
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How much would you pay to get Sarah Palin to speak at your next event? How does $100,000 sound?
Documents obtained by Politico disclose Sarah Palin's booking fee: "$100,000 a speech, with a discount to $75,000 for West Coast appearances."
Washington Independent's David Weigel first reported on the steep fee Palin was charging to speak at the upcoming National Tea Party Convention in Nashville, Tennessee. Palin, who twice turned down offers to speak at the yearly Conservative Political Action Conference before agreeing to appear at the Tea Party assembly, will join WorldNetDaily Editor-in-Chief Joseph Farah on the roster.
The ex-governor's choice to snub a spot on a $175-a-ticket CPAC program that, according to director Lisa de Pasquale, would not "pay honorarium, travel or hotel expenses for any speakers," in favor of the Tea Party event has had many people suspecting that Palin's decision was financially driven. Tickets to her speech are running a pricey $349, while tickets to the entire convention cost $549.
Eric Odom, executive director of the American Liberty Alliance, provided an estimate of the kind of money the former vice-presidential candidate might be seeing: "I'd speculate that Palin's making at least $35,000 or $50,000, with $50,000 being more likely," he said. "I mean, Glenn Beck charges $60,000, $70,000 and a private jet."
According to Conservative blogger Dan Riehl, that would be peanuts for Palin. "I'm hearing through sources Sarah Palin is getting $75k to speak," Riehl reports, though he has apparently also heard talks of a $100,000 booking fee as well.
Palin's decision to speak at the National Tea Party Convention makes sense. It's no secret that she has emerged as a darling of conservatives, and her appearance there will undoubtedly be highly anticipated. Moreover, a recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll ranked a generic "Tea Party" as more popular than either Democrats or Republicans. That said, it doesn't take a genius to see that even the lowest estimate of $35,000 is a lot of money, especially when the other offer is nothing.