Motivation, Selling, Ethics

OK, So I Didn’t Get Elected Pope . . . Speaking of Motivation by B.S.

By Barry Maher


What I’m about to say may surprise some of you. And I’m sure it will absolutely astonish the traditional news media. But I’m starting to think I have a real shot at being nominated to the Supreme Court. Apparently, I’m well thought of in extremely high places.

A while back, in fact during the George W. Bush administration, I received a message on my voice mail informing me that I had just been nominated to serve on the Republican Presidential Committee. Would I please call their toll free number immediately? When I called and asked who had nominated me, the woman who took the call told me that the nomination had come from the Republican Congressional Committee. And I never realized those people even knew that I was alive.

“So who on the committee nominated me?” I wondered.

The woman wasn’t sure. She did know that the committee thought it would be invaluable if a key national business leader like myself would lend his name and agree to serve.

“You know I never thought of myself as a key national business leader,” I said.

“Well, that’s the way we think of you here.”


She explained that there would be no time commitment, so exactly what my service might entail was a little vague. But there would be a press release, announcing my appointment to my local paper. And agreeing to serve would give me a chance to meet top Republicans like the Speaker of the House, “perhaps even President Bush,” and give them my thoughts. So I’d have access to them on the issues that concerned my business.

They’d also appreciate it if I could contribute from $300 to $500.

“But if I can’t come up with a contribution just now,” I said, “I can still lend my name to the cause and be on the committee and meet President Bush, right?”

“No.” No amplification, just a flat no.

“So my name won’t help you without the money?”

“We need your name AND the money.”

“But without the money you won’t use my name.”

“Are you a Democrat?” she asked suspiciously.

“Would the Republican Congressional Committee nominate a Democrat to serve on the Republican Presidential Committee?”

That’s when she hung up. I wasn’t sure how that might affect my status on the committee. I did expect I’d hear from President Bush himself in the next couple of days. We key national business leaders shouldn’t be wasting our time dealing with subordinates anyway.

But he never called.

Now in fairness, I’m not sure the Democrats’ fundraising strategies are any better. And I should mention that the Republicans have apparently now scrapped these Republican Presidential Committee phone calls. Nowadays, according to ABC News, they’re calling “key business leaders” and telling them that they have been nominated for something called “the National Leadership Award.” It’s every bit as good a deal as the Presidential Committee, just $300 to $500.

And you may already be a winner.

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