It’s hard to actually visualize anyone paying former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney $100,000 per speech, but that is what Politico reported Friday. Carney is now cashing in on his time with the Obama administration mere weeks after he resigned his position.
The 49-year-old master of spin now joins his predecessor, Robert Gibbs, on the rubber chicken circuit. Carney received a signing bonus to join the Washington Speakers Bureau, which could result in payments of up to $100,000 per speech. That is, as long as people are interested in hearing a man who was paid to “interpret” White House activities and policy.
For the time being, Carney will speak at his biggest cash cows; universities, corporations and trade associations spinning yarns (an expert at that) while sitting around the cracker barrel. While the iron is hot, the speaking job buys Carney time to figure out his next career move into possible positions in public relations firms, consulting companies, Silicon Valley or even science fiction, which he could excel at with his background.
Carney, the former Time magazine Washington bureau chief, will be most popular with audiences at CNN, MSNBC and the three network news programs. It is doubtful his dance card will be filled with conservative talk radio.
For those anxiously awaiting a book from Carney, he says he has “no plans” at the present time to sit down and write his version of White House events. As the latest Obama administration millionaire, he says, "I’m just talking to a lot of people about a bunch of potentially interesting things," he told Politico.
Helping Carney cash in will be Washington super lawyer Robert Barnett to help him negotiate any deals. It is a distinct possibility that Carney’s replacement, Josh Earnest (interesting last name for an Obama spokesperson), is taking notes about his old boss's payoff after he too spins for a year or two.
Meanwhile, Carney plans to spend time this summer with his wife, interestingly enough, ABC news correspondent Claire Shipman, and their two children. Many eager minds may want to look at Shipman’s past coverage of any Obama story while Carney was the press secretary and burst into laughter at her "bipartisan and professional" content. Apparently ABC News never saw a conflict of interest in Shipman's husband's day job.
When this picture of family frolic is completed later this summer, it is estimated Carney will earn around $1.5 million in total compensation if he signs with a corporation or consulting firm, Politico said. That will include a cache of stock options rather than a large salary.
Is there any wonder whether you are a Democrat, Republican or independent why the American people are disgusted with Washington, DC? These sort of news items make you think we are just spectators in a dysfunctional government.
* If you have enjoyed this column, may I suggest you scroll down this page and press the SUBSCRIBE box? It's FREE. Thank you for your patronage.
** Send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
*** Read “Redistribution of Common Sense” – Selected commentaries on the Obama administration 2009 – 2014, available on amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and many other book outlets nationwide.