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.