Kent Conrad Will Earn $20,000 – $50,000 On Public Speaking Tour


The headline says Conrad will earn something in that price range for public speaking gigs now that his Senate career is (thankfully) over, but it seems unlikely to this observer that anyone would pay that much to Conrad say dry, obvious things about the nation’s finances.

Conrad was a regular guest on the cable talk shows about fiscal matters, and most recently the “fiscal cliff,” but let’s be honest. In reality Conrad was an outsider to those negotiations. At the end of his career, he was irrelevant.

Anyway, according to his booking page on the Leading Authorities website (LA apparently has an exclusive contract to book Conrad’s services) Conrad will earn the following rates for speaking appearances:

Local Fee Range
$20,001.00 to $30,000.00

West Coast Fee Range
$25,001.00 to $50,000.00

East Coast Fee Range
$25,001.00 to $50,000.00

So what area is defined by the “local fee range?” It’s not the upper midwest region, that’s for sure. According to the website, Conrad travels from Washington DC. Meaning that if anyone was holding out hope that Senator Conrad would be returning to live in North Dakota now that his time in Washington is up, they can disabuse themselves of that notion now.

I mean, nobody really thought Conrad was going to move into that apartment in a 4-plex in Bismarck he was claiming as his official residence, did they?

Which is an interesting contrast with other leaders who have served North Dakota. Former Governor Ed Schafer went to Washington DC to serve as Secretary of Agriculture in the Bush administration. When his service was up, he came back to live and work in North Dakota. Former Senator Mark Andrews also returned to North Dakota to live and work after he left the Senate. Former Congressman Rick Berg, who lost his bid to serve in the Senate, has returned to North Dakota after serving a term in the House where, he told me, he plans on getting involved in investment opportunities in the state.

By contrast, Senators Dorgan and Conrad, as well as Rep. Earl Pomeroy, all now live outside of North Dakota now that their terms are up.

That speaks volumes, I think.