Thursday, June 18, 2009

Nice work if you can get it, Mr. Mayor

In October of 2006, Rudy Giuliani came through Portland as the featured speaker on the "Get Motivated" Tour day-long event at the Memorial Coliseum. (And while he was in town he made an appearance at a Ron Saxon fundraiser.)

I had attended one of these a couple of years earlier and somewhat sheepishly recounted the story here. The closer you examined the selection process that bought our particular audience to the Coliseum that day, the less flattering it became: Far from being the "movers and shakers of Portland" that the emcee assured us that we were, I'm afraid it appeared that we were the 5,000 people that Portland managers felt they could most easily spare for the day.

It was a mixture of get-rich quick and old-time religion: Secrets to Success in Business and Life, and Beating the Stock Market with your PC. Suffice it to say that the "come to Jesus" moment in the all-day event was in the literal sense a "come to Jesus" moment. Buried in the fine print on the full-page ads in the Oregonian for weeks leading up to the event was this:

"SPECIAL BONUS: One of the most popular parts of The GET MOTIVATED Seminar is a special optional 15 minute bonus session on the Biblical Secrets of success."

Rudy--"America's Mayor," the maraschino cherry atop this Jesus and Compound Interest sundae--made his rock-star entrance to cheering fans, falling balloons, and Sinatra singing "New York, New York."

Now it appears that Rudy--and Colin Powell, and Steve Forbes--are back out on the "Get Motivated" circuit again.

And why not hit the circuit again? Certainly, those are three people whose opinions the Republican Party--or anyone else for that matter--has little interest in hearing about these days.

And it's a pretty sweet deal. Guilani had the stage for less than an hour the whole day. (I'm assuming that Rudy, Colin, and Steve will alternate tour dates rather than risk a scene by appearing on the stage together.) And for that, according to the May 2007 public financial disclosure report for his presidential campaign, Rudy netted $80 thousand per appearance. (The speaker's bureau that promoted him pocketed an additional $20K per appearance.)

(Click image to enlarge.)

In 2006-2007, Giuliani earned $9.2 million in speaking fees (not consulting--just speaking), of which about $2 million came from the "Get Motivated" organization. Eighty thousand for an hour's work, once or twice a month, is nothing to sneeze at. And improbable as it might seem, his fees are probably higher in 2009.

That probably softens the blow for all three men of being cast out of the Sunday morning talk show circuit.

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