ince she abruptly retired as Alaska's governor in July, 2009, Sarah Palin has earned $12 million from a book deal, speaking engagements, and media contracts, reported ABC News. Reaction was predictably partisan: "Who needs actual responsibility when [Palin] can haul in the dough by tossing red meat to the rubes?" says the Little Green Footballs blog. Other commentators were more supportive: "There is nothing wrong with succeeding," says Ed Morrissey in Hot Air. "The only reaction anyone should have is 'congratulations.'" Here's a glimpse into how Palin's $12 million achievement breaks down — and how it compares to other high-profile politicians' earnings:
Number of months since Palin retired
Number of months since John McCain named her as his presidential running mate, thrusting her onto the national scene
Palin's annual salary as governor of Alaska
Average amount Palin earns for speaking at a single event, as arranged by the Washington Speakers Bureau
Approximate amount Palin received to speak at a fundraising event for the Juravinski Cancer Center and St. Peter's Hospital, located near Toronto, Canada
Number of "bendable straws" that must be waiting on a wooden lectern, along with two "unopened" bottles of water, before Palin speaks
Number of first class round-trip tickets Palin requires to travel to a speaking engagement, as per a recent contract
Amount the Discovery Channel will reportedly pay Palin for each episode of her new reality show "Sarah Palin's Alaska," set to air on The Learning Channel
Total number of "Sarah Palin's Alaska" episodes scheduled to run
Amount Palin reportedly received from HarperCollins to write her autobiography Going Rogue
Approximate amount former President Bill Clinton earned in the six years after he left office, according to tax records revealed during Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential bid
Amount a Japanese manufacturing company paid former President Ronald Reagan for two 20-minute speeches
Note: Palin's earnings from her on-air work with Fox News have not been disclosed
Sources: ABC News (2), Hot Air, Huffington Post, Little Green Footballs, Washington Post, Politico
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