How Rich Is Obama? What's Hillary Clinton's Net Worth? How Much America's Top Politicians Bank
The two leading potential nominees for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, have recently been trying to out-do each other in the “look how poor I am” department. Clinton initially raised eyebrows by saying that she was “dead broke” when she and Bill left the White House in 2000, a claim Bill defended Tuesday as “factually true.” On Monday, Clinton doubled-down, saying that her family was not “truly well off,” even though a recent estimate pegs her net worth at over $20 million.
Biden, who could once lay claim to being the poorest U.S. Senator, did not want to be outdone. On Tuesday, the Vice President said that he doesn’t “own a single stock or bond,” and has “no savings account.” That latter claim wasn’t entirely true, as he and his wife Jill do have a joint savings account. Regardless, Biden’s net worth is estimated to be between $39,000 and $800,000 (large window there). That’s far less than the Clinton’s wealth, but it’s not exactly as if ol’ Joe is just barely scraping by.
All of which raises the question: How rich are the Hillary and Joe by the standards of other contemporary politicians? Here’s a quick look at some notable politicos of the day, and how much they manage to rake in.
It’s easy to forget that Barack Obama was a best-selling author and a Harvard Law professor long before he was a U.S. Senator. When he was running for office in 2007, Obama was worth $1.3 million; six years later, he and Michelle’s combined assets are valued at between $2 and $7 million. Their money comes primarily from book royalties, investments, and the president’s $400,000 annual salary.
Probably the most outspoken politician on issues of wealth disparity and the shrinking middle class, Warren — another former Harvard Law professor — is most definitely in the one percent. As of 2012, she was worth around $14 million, most of which is derived from investments in mutual funds.
The Democratic nominee for governor and abortion rights hero doesn’t have a reported net worth. But in addition to being a state senator, she also has a private law practice, and in total, she pulls in an estimated $284,000 a year.
At one point, the former Newark mayor and current Senator from New Jersey was worth as much as $5 million. But that was in the form of stock he held in the tech startup Waywire, and when Waywire erupted in scandal in 2013, Booker donated his stake in the company to charity. As such, he’s now worth around $476,000, which is not for nothing. Still, it must have hurt just a little bit to turn in that multi-millionaire card.
The House Minority Leader is one of the richest members of Congress. She’s worth more than even Hillary Clinton: In 2013, Pelosi’s assets were valued at roughly $26 million, much of which is held in real estate.
Gillibrand’s earnings are a good barometer for how wealthy senators are in general: She’s the 51st richest member of the upper chamber, with about $970,000 to her name.
Ryan has made his mark in Congress as a fierce advocate for the rich, and it's no wonder: He’s a multi-millionaire himself, with a net worth just under $5 million. Ryan essentially married into it his wealth: His wife is a successful lobbyist from a wealthy family of trial lawyers, and that’s where much of his worth comes from.
Paul is also a fan of making rich people richer, but unlike Ryan, he himself is not part of that camp. A former ophthalmologist, Paul is "only" worth around $398,000, which is a stark reminder that, for a politician, having relatively modest earnings doesn’t always translate to supporting policies that help poor Americans.
Sanders is the only self-identified socialist in the senate, so it stands to reason that he’d have relatively modest financial holdings — at least, when compared with his colleagues. In other words, Sanders “only” has around $460,000 to his name, about half of which takes the form of a condo he owns in Burlington.
The junior Senator from Texas is roughly on par with the Obamas. As of 2012, Cruz was worth somewhere between $1 and $5 million. Not terribly surprising, as he practiced law before entering public service.