Michael Steele, head of the RNC, reportedly has given dozens of speeches to corporate boards and colleges in exchange for a fee of $20,000 per speech. This strikes me as very bad idea.
To the extent that Steele earns a substantial income through his “outside” speaking activity, he has an incentive to be entertaining, candid, and/or controversial in these speeches. But in doing so, he increases the likelihood of making statements that may not be in the best interest of his party.
In Steele’s case, this risk is not just an abstraction. Steele has a history of making injudicious comments. To put it bluntly, he’s a bit of a loose cannon in the best of circumstances. And giving speeches on college campuses to supplement his own income does not represent the best of circumstances.
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