01 May My Introduction of Anthony Scaramucci – Lincoln Club 56th Annual Gala – April 28, 2018
Greetings Lincoln Club friends and allies in the cause.
It is my pleasure to introduce tonight our annual gala’s keynote speaker, my friend, Anthony Scaramucci. I suppose we have had less “controversial” or “colorful” speakers in years past, and if tonight you find yourself after Anthony’s speech saying, “I wish they would go back to those barnburners of years past like Jim DeMint and Mark Sanborn,” I’ll buy you a spot in Trump Tower. But rather than address mild controversy or color in our selection of Anthony Scaramucci to address you tonight, I ask you to take just 60 seconds to hear why I am honored, thrilled, and blessed that Anthony is here, and I hope you will be too.
In 2009 the U.S. economy was in total disarray. Reeling from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression and the bursting of a housing bubble few thought possible, the newly elected President, Barack Obama, decided to address the nation and give words of wisdom and encouragement that only a Harvard law school trained leftist could:
“Now is not the time to take that extra vacation. Now is not the time to go to Las Vegas.”
Ironically, the President so concerned with fiscal responsibility did think it was the right time to embark on a $1 trillion shovel NOT ready stimulus package, but I digress.
Where does Anthony fit into this? Anthony Scaramucci heard one particular thing President Obama said – “now is not the time to go to Las Vegas.” The President, by the way, hardly needed to say this little bit of moralizing malaise. Revenue in the city was down over 50% because, you know, we were in a financial crisis. Casino profits were gone. Convention center activity was down 80%. And the leader of the free world had just come in to say, “Screw the busboys, waiters, bellhops, bartenders, maids, taxi drivers and everyone else who is struggling in Las Vegas! I am going to demonize those who decide to do business there, travel, etc.”
Anthony said, “enough!” He did what Anthony often does. He got lit up like on an energizer bunny on a controlled substance, and in a matter of days put together what became the world’s most premier hedge fund conference, coming to Las Vegas, that spring, in direct defiance of the President’s audacious exhortation. Was it a bunch of 1 percenters and Wall Street guys attending? Sure. But Anthony knows what the President, and the entire collectivist left, does not. That those aforementioned bellhops, bartenders, and taxi drivers LIKE us 1%ers, need us 1%ers, and frankly, don’t have the luxury of hiding between a class envy ideology. Marxian class warfare is fine for a Harvard classroom, or oval office speech. But an uber driver in Las Vegas would rather get our $20 tip, if you catch my drift.
So SALT was born, the big hedge fund event Anthony launched in response to President Obama’s cruel words. And I had a new friend. I became a significant investor in Anthony’s hedge fund both personally and on behalf of my clients. And we over the years would visit in CA and in NY and ideate about our shared dream of an aspirational society – one that delivered economic blessings to people of all strata.
We can fast forward to 2017 if you would like. By now Anthony Scaramucci has sold that hedge fund, has assisted President Trump mightily throughout the campaign, and after a lot of hoopla and drama, finally landed a position in the White House. It ended badly 11 days later. I don’t have anything to say about what Anthony did say, other than that it forced me to have a really awkward conversation with my 11-year old son. But because we are here to talk about a forward vision for the country, I will just simply say this (and hope this puts it to bed): The author of the story has since been fired for rank sexual harassment, and we do indeed now know that Steve Bannon was the biggest leaker in the history of the White House. Case closed.
Why am I supportive of Anthony Scaramucci, our keynote speaker tonight? We actually do not agree on everything. There has been legitimate controversy. What gives.
Let me tell you this. The MOOCH, is a survivor. Few people you have ever met in your life personify the resilience and grit this man possesses. And furthermore, who in the world abandons their friends in a time of need? When someone finds themselves at the center of a controversy and public scorn, is not that when loyalty and friendship mean the most? They do to me. And they do to people like Anthony.
But here is the bottom line:
I promise you this – you name any other speaker you want – ANY individual in the United States of America – I’m not exaggerating; I’m not being dramatic – if we had booked anyone else you can think of to keynote our address tonight, we would NOT have booked someone who supports the President’s economic growth agenda, who believes in the aspirational society, and who loves the United States of America, more, than our 2018 Lincoln Club keynote speaker, Anthony Scaramucci