Uh oh: Certain people who care about such things have caught wind of Michael Steele’s semi-successful Michael Steele-impersonation grift! Charging speaking fees is not even “outside the game” or “what up,” but this did not stop a disgruntled couplet of former RNC chairmen from slagging off on Steele in the Washington Times today.

Some other human from the RNC explains to the Times that charging colleges $20,000 to listen to a 51 year-old man improvise David Simon-inspired koans is just gauche—and actually sort of brilliant—but not actually verboten. And yet:

  • “Holy mackerel, I never heard of a chairman of either party ever taking money for speeches,” said Frank J. Fahrenkopf Jr., RNC chairman under President Reagan and CEO of the American Gaming Association.
  • “It just doesn’t look right using RNC resources and trading on the title of chairman to make outside money,” said Rich Bond, another former Republican national chairman. “When I became chairman, I was surprised some organizations paid honoraria,” Mr. Bond said. “There were no written rules about taking money back then. Still, I decided accepting the money would get me in trouble.”

Ha! So, turns out Michael Steele did a savvy thing. We will add him to our “Speaker Basket” immediately.

[Washington Times via Ben Smith]

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  1. Don’t they know the only way to silence him is to throw Oreo cookies at him. Provided that the air remain thick with them for a certain period of time, otherwise he’ll just laugh them off with his Wonder Woman wristlets.

  2. Come on now, not taking advantage of one’s position to personally make money, whether legal or not, would be a huge violation of Republican party principles.

  3. Once again, we’re disparaging Michael Steele for his leading by example, and we should be ashamed. If all the poor people would follow his example and get $20,000 speaking fees regularly, then no one would fret about how to pay for health care anymore.

    Follow Michael Steele’s lead. There is a solution.

  4. The Washington Times, Michael Steele, Ben Smith (“a running-bowels conversation about politics”), the RNC, and the expression “Holy mackerel” still exist? (Doesn’t he know it’s “Holy Mudhead, Mackerel!”?)

  5. “Holy mackerel, I never heard of a chairman of either party ever taking money for speeches,” said Frank J. Fahrenkopf Jr., RNC chairman under President Reagan and CEO of the American Gaming Association. “I never realized how much money I missed out on and want a do-over.”

  6. Why would these few bitches inside America’s party of cronyism, double dipping, unfettered corporate capitalism, and shameless opportunism even give a shit? Socialists RINOS.

  7. [re=483601]the problem child[/re]: And I’m sure that Mr. Frankenstein; er, Fahrenheit; er, Mr. Former RNC Chair got to be CEO of the American “Gaming” Association all through his own merit.

    (As an aside, the use of “gaming” as a euphemism for gambling always annoys me, since gaming already has a meaning, and it’s playing video games, not throwing money away at the casino).

  8. It’s strange that if you start looking up other people I’ve heard of (Woodward for example) say “Please Inquire” as opposed to list a dollar amount for their fee, whereas the Man of Steele just lays it out there. $10,0000-$20,0000 any coast any time.

  9. [re=483580]thesheriffisnear[/re]: Zig Ziglar, Terry Bradshaw, Michael Steele…GET MOTIVATED!!!
    You left out Dubya.
    [re=483593]chaste everywhere[/re]: (Doesn’t he know it’s “Holy Mudhead, Mackerel!”?)
    He’s People’s Commissioner Steele now. And nobody’s sweetheart!

  10. [re=483587]hoosiermama[/re]: And this, from the Wired/Huffpo article:

    “Almost immediately after it launched yesterday, pranksters began using the service to link to controversial or ironically-intended websites such as the official site of the American Communist Party , a bondage website and a webpage advertising a sex toy in the likeness of Barack Obama.”

  11. [re=483613]norbizness[/re]: Thanks, there’s nothing like a Paul Boutique lyric to start the morning.

    So Mikey’s completely bypassing Reagan by being a “Lincoln Republican, ey?” Where’ my Lincoln owned Slaves in the USA t-shirt when I need it?

  12. “A self-described Lincoln Republican …”

    Does Mikey mean the kind of Republican who believes in the supremacy of the Federal government, the kind who oppose a war of choice but who would tax the shit out of stuff and the rich to pay for a war of necessity, the kind who built infrastructure because it was good for the Nation as a whole, the kind who passed programs to buildup the middle class, and the kind who set aside public land for parks?

    (Lincoln — oppossed the Mexican War as a Congressman, but as President fought the Civil War to preserve the Union and signed bills taxing all sorts of goods (beer, playing cards, etc.) and the first Federal income tax to pay for it, supported public subsidies for railroad and canal building, signed the Homestead Act and the Land Grant Colleges Act, and gave the Yosemite Valley to California for a park. Then there was that whole inviting Frederick Douglass to dinner at the WHITE House thing, something I think Mikey can pretty much forget about.)

  13. He’s just jealous of $arah Palin and wants some of the same action.

    Minus having to live in a barn alongside honking ducks in a strip mall masquerading as a town, of course.

  14. OK that last quote is fabricated Rich Bond is such a naturally made-up name for a GOP chairman. That Fahrenkopf one sounds foreign and dictatorial, so he’s legit.

  15. This speaking fee racket is amazing. Last year a friend of mine told me about how his company had hired an obscure SNL cast member from maybe 20 years ago to come speak (not stand-up) at their exec convention and they paid the guy 15 grand. This is a guy who probably couldn’t get five seconds on the E! channel.

  16. [re=483750]Gorillionaire[/re]: My daughter is part of the student committee that does booking for her school. She told me how much SNL people go for- the ones they could afford- they didn’t want- and it costs more for comedy versus Q&A- really who the hell wants to hear a Q&A with an SNL cast member. They wouldn’t have Steele on their campus if he paid them(ok, maybe if he paid them)

  17. Well hell, getting money is how I roll, ya dig? Five-button pinstriped pimp suits and bling don’t grow on trees, baby. Don’t hate the player, etc, etc.

    Dictated, but not read,

    M. Steele

  18. [re=483728]OReillysVibrator[/re]: For realz.

    “Rich Bond” isn’t a name, it’s a synonym for “money”. And I’m pretty sure “Fahrenkopf” means “hot head” in German, so yeah, totally legit.

  19. [re=483792]Extemporanus[/re]: Was für ein Fehler. “Fahrenkopf” bedeutet “travel head” oder “driving head.” “Heisskopf,” dass die richtige Übersetzung für “hot head.” Und verstehen Sie mich nicht startete am “Sheissekopf”

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