From Emily Yoffe in the Washington Post.
Like many Americans whose steady, reliable job has suddenly disappeared, Thomas Daschle cobbled together a bunch of gigs when he was laid off in 2004 by the people of South Dakota after more than two decades of representing them in Congress.
There was the day job at the law firm Alston & Bird that must have been blessedly free of the kind of dull legal minutiae that make up many a billable hour, since Daschle is not a lawyer. That paid $2.1 million over the past two years. The consulting position at InterMedia Advisors, a private equity firm, paid him $1 million a year. A senior partner there told The Post that Daschle did “a lot of helpful work,” which he declined to enumerate. A stream of speeches to businesses that had business with the government earned Daschle $500,000 during the past two years. There were directorships on several boards — BP Corp. alone paid him $250,000…
“He’s the gold standard for integrity in government,” said a former aide to Daschle, Andrea LaRue, herself now a lobbyist. In recent months, as the economy has melted down, we have all learned about the art of monetization — of turning things such as bad home equity loans into arcane derivatives and how there’s lots of money to be made out of monetization (until sometimes the money disappears). Even if we don’t know what Daschle did to earn all his money, we do know that when you monetize the job of Senate majority leader, as Daschle’s financial disclosure forms reveal, you come up with almost $5.3 million in two years. Gold standard, indeed.