Former RNC Chair Michael Steele: Sexual Bondage Strip Clubs? Oh, my! — AN EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT from The Recovering Politician’s Twelve Step Program to Survive Crisis

Click here to purchase e-book for ONLY 99 CENTS this week only

Click here to purchase e-book for ONLY 99 CENTS this week only

The one thing you don’t want in politics or business is to be unpleasantly surprised.

We pride ourselves on seeing every angle and knowing every pitfall; and when we don’t or we can’t, we hire consultants who supposedly do because there’s nothing that will throw you off your game faster than the unknown.

So it was with particular attention to detail that my staff at the Republican National Committee (RNC) planned for me and over thirty members of the RNC’s Site Selection Committee to visit the three cities in the final running to host the 2012 national convention.

It’s no secret that my tenure as RNC Chairman had more than its share of unpleasant surprises. So my instruction to the staff regarding the site visits was simple: “lean, clean and no surprises!”

As the visits got underway, by any measure, they were going exceedingly well. These trips used to be about goodie bags and cocktail parties, but we had resolved to take a decidedly more business-oriented approach – with an emphasis on contracts, bus schedules, fundraising and hotel rooms; and as it turned out, the members preferred that (although they still wanted their cocktail parties).

But as they say, “the best laid plans…”

* * *

Steele MMO_1368-EditThe day had already been long with meetings and tours with the Mayor of Salt Lake City, our respective legal teams and members of the Site Selection Committee. As this was the second of our three cities to visit, we had begun to establish a rhythm for the day; and by this point, it was definitely time for one of those cocktails. For most of that afternoon, I observed the courtesy of keeping my cell phone turned off. After all, if my chief of staff – or anyone else for that matter – needed to reach me, there were enough other cell phones nearby.

So when the executive director of the site selection committee, Belinda Cook, handed me the phone with a look of anger: “The office has been trying to reach you for the past hour; your cell is off” – I thought to myself: “Don’t be mad at me; you told me to turn it off!”

But I would soon realize that she wasn’t angry about the phone.  Rather, a major conservative web site, the Daily Caller, wanted a “comment” on a story it was about to run that a member of the RNC finance staff had spent $2000 at a Los Angeles strip club that featured a sexual-bondage theme. And to make matters worse, the reporter was inferring that I was there.

I’ll spare you the first words I uttered at that moment.

Needless to say, I realized that the countdown to the firestorm had begun; and I would need as many fire hoses as I could get my hands on.

===

Click here to read the rest of Michael Steele’s extraordinary chapter by purchasing The Recovering Politician’s Twelve Step Program to Survive Crisis for only 99 cents this week only.

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