Rudy Giuliani’s Appearance Contract

A report on the Smoking Gun website under the bizarre headline “Rudy Giuliani: No Free Speech” details the requirements the former New York mayor’s handlers have put in place in order for him to give speeches at $100,000 a pop. They’re pretty substantial: A Gulfstream IV or bigger private plane, a ritzy hotel suite for himself with adjoining rooms for staffers, and various limitations on photo ops.

The New York Daily NewsDavid Saltonstall has great fun with this, proclaiming, “Move over, J.Lo. There’s a new diva on the scene – and his name is Rudy Giuliani.”

Steve Benen writes, “A ‘man of the people’ he is not” and believes “Giuliani’s demands appear kind of petty and small.”

Perhaps so. Political candidates want to be perceived as “Regular Guys” even when they are rich, powerful people. There’s a reason that there’s a confidentiality clause in the agreement, after all. (And OkieFromMuskogee may be right that Oklahoma State could get sued over publicizing it, although doing so would amplify the negative publicity Giuliani will get from this, so likely not.)

Dan Riehl is right, though, to point out that big speaking fees are not out of the ordinary. Bill Clinton gets much, much more per speech. (And Secret Service protection on the taxpayer’s dime, to boot, making Giuliani’s limousine service on the hirer’s part plebian by comparison.) Nor does it strike me as all that unreasonable for someone doing speeches for money to wish to limit how much free appearance work he’s willing to do to accommodate the local press, autograph hounds, and amateur photographers.

Benen complains, “He refuses to be photographed between grip-and-grin shots. He insists that the lighting department remember that he doesn’t tolerate any unlit areas on his stage. His aides not only have to have rooms of their own, but Giuliani wants specific aides on either side of the room in which he’s staying.”

From a PR standpoint, it would probably be better to simply demand a higher appearance fee and pay for the other things himself. Then again, a lot of corporations, universities, and others that would be hiring him probably have hotel rooms, cars, and even private planes at their disposal.

Is it vain to specify the lighting conditions and camera angles from which he likes to be shot? Sure. Then again, unflattering photographs will be used against him in opposition ads or by tabloids like the Daily News, so it’s understandable. And the man travels with a staff. Do we really expect that they’re going to sleep in the same room?

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. DC Loser says:

    Clinton only demanded those fees after he left political office. He’s not a candidate. For Rudy to be this pedantic before he runs for President, well, I can only say this isn’t going to help.

  2. Nick says:

    I honestly don’t think this is new in politics, nor is it even knew altogether. I have to believe that this is a whole lot better than at least getting kickbacks and bribes from the likes of Abramoff?

  3. James Joyner says:

    DCL: I gather this contract was from before he was a presidential candidate, when he was making a living doing speeches. I doubt he’s charging people for speaking, let alone limiting press contacts at this point.

  4. Bryan says:

    HEY check out this new political website. It has tons of political message boards and soon will have news updates.