Politics Pays

Nice job if you can get it: Elite Productions has a no-bid contract to provide staging, sound and drapes for President Barack Obama’s speeches, including a recent 18-minute speech in Tampa, Fla., that cost $94,360.

Photo: AP Photo / The Tampa Bay Times, James Borchuck, Pool
President Barack Obama's 18-minute speech at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla., complete with banners, podium and microphone, cost about $100,000.

That’s $5,242.22 per minute. The event was for a speech to 1,200 troops Sept. 17. Elite Productions handles the event needs of several prominent Democratic politicians including Bill and Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi.

The price for the speech at the Florida air force base was recently released by the military.

The Air Force said the cost at MacDill gymnasium was because of “unusual and compelling urgency.”

“Aside from Elite Productions Services, no other company is able to deliver the items required on the same day,” the contract reads. “Market research was conducted to determine if others could provide these items and compete for this requirement.

“Three sources were contacted and communicated that they could not provide the requirement with such quick turnaround.”

Obama’s reelection campaign reportedly paid the company $2.2 million in 2012. Puddle of Mudd and River Roots Live are also listed as clients.