Former president George W. Bush has let it be known that he is available to speak on the corporate lecture circuit for $150,000 and will be willing to speak in English for $1.5 million.
Tracy Klugian, Mr. Bush's agent and head of the Ex-Presidential Speakers Bureau, explained the disparity in fees: "He is charging ten times as much to speak in English because it requires ten times the effort."
Mr. Bush came to the decision to charge the higher rate for speaking in English after an appearance in Toronto last week with former President Bill Clinton, an experience which he found "draining."
"President Bush didn't realize he was expected to speak in English at the event, since it was in Canada," his agent explained.
Mr. Klugian said that despite the lofty fee, he had already fielded several offers from corporations who would like to hear the former President speak in English: "I think it's the novelty factor."
But the President's agent said he has had to politely decline requests to have Mr. Bush speak in complete sentences: "I tell them, 'Thanks, but you can't afford that.'"
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