George W’s New Gig: Cold Cash for Hot Air

The Art of Money Getting
The Art of Money Getting book cover Photo credit: Google Books
Reading Time: 3 minutes

For Kings and Cabbages alike, the high-profile lecture circuit is a good place to rake in some extra post-public-service cash. And why shouldn’t former government leaders earn some private-sector-sized paychecks to round out their years of sacrifice for the common good?

That is surely George W. Bush’s thinking, because since 2009, he has made upwards of $15 million giving speeches, sometimes for as much as $200,000 a pop.

What sort of enterprises find the wit and wisdom of Bush 43 worth a bushel? Read on, dear friends.

Get Motivated! Get Money

W’s very first speaking gig after leaving the White House, in October 2009, was a star-studded affair at the Ft. Worth Convention Center. Colin Powell, Rudy Giuliani, and Christian motivational speaker Zig Ziglar addressed the crowd, too. The sponsor was an outfit called Get Motivated! (The exclamation point is part of the brand.)

The fairly Bush-friendly Dallas Morning News described the Get Motivated! seminars as “glossy affairs—sort of Babbitt meets the Super Bowl, part pep rally, part Christian revival meeting for salespeople who want to up their game. Bush apparently feels comfortable headlining a day-long bacchanalia of patriotism, inspiration, success stories and sales tips.”

2The alternative St. Louis Riverfront Times drew a darker picture, based on an April 27, 2011 seminar that featured, among others, Laura Bush: The celebrities, the paper said, are merely the bait. Once inside the arena, attendees hoping to “get motivated” by the celebrity speechifiers were subjected to:

three-plus hours of sales pitches designed to sell you on the idea that you can make a zillion on the Internet by selling stuff you don’t actually own. Or snapping up foreclosures. Or buying a set of online personal-investment tools.

In other words, the 43rd president was making six-digit figures shilling for “get rich quick” schemes. And, as many of the attendees found out the hard way, they should have read the fine print:

Not one of the speakers counseled you to think before giving your credit-card number to any outfit that, buried in the fine print, advises that it will begin charging a $39 monthly fee unless you sent a cancelation notice to Tampa, Florida, by midnight Saturday. In writing.

No comment is needed beyond noting that Get Motivated! is… no longer in business.  The company closed in 2012, its legacy a series of lawsuits complaining of unpaid bills.

And that isn’t the only shady outfit from which Bush has earned speaking fees.

Bush Helps Himself to Charity

Helping A Hero is a Houston-based veterans’ charity that provides “specially adapted homes for qualifying service members,” according to its website. The charity has faced a number of complaints. It’s now under investigation after trying to seize a home it sold to a blind veteran who later died of a heart attack.

A recent story detailed several abuses at the charity, including alleged misappropriation of donations. In one instance, a promised home was never built. Nonetheless, a trusting military family continued loyally  paying the mortgage on the lot for nearly a year after it was supposed to be completed.

And Eddie Wright, a decorated veteran and former board member of Helping A Hero, found something disturbing: a $20,000 payment to cover travel for an unnamed speaker. Wright was astonished to later learn that the recipient was none other than one of America’s most military-oriented former Commanders-in-Chief—George W. Bush, who flew a private jet from Houston to Dallas for the charity’s 2012 annual fundraiser gala. What upsets him the most, he says, is the fact that Helping A Hero founder Meredith Iler paid Bush $100,000 to speak at the event.

“Why would you charge somebody $100,000 to raise money for men and women who are wounded fighting a war that you commanded us to go fight?” Wright told WFAA TV in Dallas.

Besides working the lecture circuit and painting his pets and his feet, George W. Bush recently wrote a biography of George H.W. Bush, titled 41: A Portrait of My Father. The book is a tribute to the latter, with an emphasis on how integrity and character matter in a leader  It has been greeted with enthusiasm by mainstream media outlets, which have thus far largely avoided Bush 43’s business pursuits.

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11 responses to “George W’s New Gig: Cold Cash for Hot Air”

  1. Title

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  2. Lorraine says:

    Just like Cosby getting ‘standing ovations” in his last performances. The world is slow to catch on. I mean really who would want to hear Bush let alone PAY for it???????!!!!!!!!

  3. llewellynh says:

    The Clintons do it bigger. Unfortunately, this now seems to be the route Presidents will take when they leave office. It’s a career path that is expanding with every new retired President and the Obamas can be expected to go at this full blast.

  4. Googlybearhug4u says:

    it’s likely the folks in attendance were fans of W to begin with. that would figure, since those seminars generally preach to the converted.

  5. goingnowherefast says:

    It’s revealing how the money power rewards the baser human instincts while ridiculing and punishing the higher ones like honesty, fairness, truthfulness, justice etc. Money apparently is the root of all evil.

  6. ShirlB says:

    I got the NOOK book sample of 41 from Barnes & Noble to get a feel
    for what “W” has had ghost written. The 20 pages included the portrait
    of dear old Dad. It looks nothing like him, unless one counts its
    clownish cast! The excerpt from the book portrays the family as “salt of
    the earth” public servants. Not!

  7. Klejdys says:

    W just had to wait a little longer to cash in than, say, Clinton did. At least TPTB aren’t paying him for services rendered like they did Clinton (though I am sure flying around w/ Ron Burkle has its privileges). The key is to leave office popular and not radioactive to ensure that you can get $200k/pop speaking to Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan conferences. Looks like Obama will have to wait a few years until the radioactive stink of legalizing 3.5M illegal Hondurans and droning US citizens overseas wears off.

  8. Patricia says:

    W can’t read a book, let alone write one! I’m sure most have already read “Family of Secrets,” but if not, that’s the basic volume on this horrible family, and there are some others, as well. Just thinking of this POS walking around makes me want to vomit.

  9. marcosanthonytoledo says:

    One wonders what this junkie will do with all that money. How much does this parasite need to live the good life ? Who said crime doesn’t pay is either a fool or a liar it pays because it pays quite well indeed.

  10. FiuToYou says:

    Why isn’t this stupid, mentally handicapped, monster in prison? And who in their right mind would want to go see this freak? Oh yeah, pardon, I forgot. We’re talking about Americans. At this date, probably the strangest population on earth. Historians will have a field day looking back on these past 50 years, and trying ti figure just what the hell happened and why. That’s where WWW comes in. Save all your features and put them in a time vault. At least they’ll have a chance to understand, or maybe not.

    • RJ O'Guillory says:

      …that is one of the reasons I wrote my childhood memoir….Webster Groves – The Life of an Insane Family…as my parents were terribly abusive law enforcement folks…and I went on to work for US DoD for 24 years…all over their corrupt empire….I hope 100 years from now someone reads my book and says…”no wonder they were so strange, stupid and brainwashed”….RJ