Life After the White House

One of the more complex issues surrounding the potential appointment of Sen. Hillary Clinton as secretary of state in President-elect Barack Obama's administration is her husband's business dealings.

But Bill Clinton is not the only former president to continue working after his days in the White House were up. So what kind of post-White House jobs can they expect with "ex-president" on the resume?

Back in the 1850s, the prospects looked dim for President Franklin Pierce, who once said, "After the White House, what is there to do but drink?"

Clinton has managed to find a gig or two. Since leaving office, he has made more than $50 million in speaking fees alone.

Ronald Reagan used his ex-president status to make $2 million for a speaking trip to Japan.


George H.W. Bush has given $100,000 speeches.

Allan Lichtman, professor of history at the American University, told "Good Morning America" it is little wonder they are paid so well.

"You want someone who can draw a crowd and has prestige and a following," he said. "Who has more prestige than an ex-president?"

But the lucrative ex-president gig of today is a far cry from the struggles of past presidents.

Thomas Jefferson had to sell his book collection to the government for extra cash. That collection became the cornerstone of the Library of Congress.

Harry Truman had to take out a loan to make ends meet. It was because of Truman that Congress decided to give ex-presidents a pension.

"A struggling ex-president kind of brings down the dignity of the office," Lichtman explained.

Since then, former office-holders have hardly struggled. Richard Nixon pulled in $600,000 for his famous interviews with talk show host David Frost.

Of course, ex-presidents have also done far more than make money.

Jimmy Carter launched Habitat for Humanity, and Bill Clinton and George Bush have raised a huge amount of money for relief funds, such as the Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina.