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Eric Cantor Honing His Oratorical Skills... For 2012?

(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Updated 7:23 p.m.
Further fueling speculation that House Republican Whip Eric Cantor is mulling a bid for the White House, new federal election reports show the Virginia Republican recently spent big bucks on speech coaching.

The No. 2 House GOP leader paid $7,697.25 for the services of ace speaking coaches Roy and Jeanette Henderson -- more specifically, one of the husband-wife team's Podium Master seminars. The date listed for those services was May 28, according to the Cantor congressional campaign's most recent mandatory filing with the Federal Election Commission.

Cantor dropped another $3,392.55 on a separate Podium Master seminar back in January.

Among Republicans who are thinking of higher office, Podium Master is a go-to place, and it's not exactly a secret that Cantor, who has been playing a more visible role lately, is politically ambitious.

He had friends and allies touting his name as a vice-presidential pick last summer before Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) chose Sarah Palin. Fellow Virginian and former congressman Virgil Goode even had McCain-Cantor buttons made up.

Congressional Quarterly magazine wrote a speculative item this week about Cantor's potential flirtation with running for president.

Cantor, however, in an interview with The Washington Post's Lois Romano to be published on Friday, said categorically, "I'm not running for President."

After talking about how "very honored" he is to be serving in the House, Cantor, when pressed, said he rules out a run for the White House. "I mean, listen, I am - I am here to really serve my constituents, and it's a huge honor."

Podium Master's roster of heavy-hitting GOP clients, according to testimonials on the firm's Web site includes former secretary of state Colin Powell; former Senate majority leader Bill Frist (who at one point contemplated a run for president); and former president George W. Bush, who sought the help of Podium Master back when he was governor of Texas positioning himself as a future presidential candidate.

"Considering that poll after poll reveals that Americans rank their fear of speaking greater than that of death, it seems like common sense to get professional advice and practice for someone who averages more than 10 speeches a week," Cantor spokesman Brad Dayspring told the Sleuth, before adding a dig at the president. "Plus, unlike some, he'll never have to worry about the teleprompter collapsing from overuse," he quipped.

By Mary Ann Akers  |  July 16, 2009; 4:45 PM ET
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Next: Tim Geithner's Secret Crash Pad


Gallup shows 3 Musketeers are leading the pack for 2012. The GOP is in trouble big time. There is a very interesting related post at

Posted by: carlyt | July 16, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

If George W. Bush is a poster-child for Podium Master's skills at preparing GOP candidates or office-holders to communicate effectively, clearly they don't know what they're doing. Money down the toilet.

Posted by: sally1860 | July 16, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Does Cantor have a mistress? They seem to be required accessories for GOP congressmen and senators these days.

Posted by: maggots | July 16, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Eric Cantor may be a brilliant politician - but I can't escape the feeling - there's nothing between his ears - every time I listen to him speak.

Had a thought on Sunday - Karen Hughes was on one of the talk shows. I'm not an R, but I would love to see an R candidate with a little substance. How about her?

Posted by: arkosu | July 16, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Help Wanted:

2012 GOP Presidential Nominee: must have successfuly passed one course -without family intervention- of freshman Public Speaking 101 prior to consideration.
Only qualified applicants will be contacted regarding this position. All others need not apply. Must successfully pass a drug screen, credit and criminal background check.
No phone calls or recruiters please.

Posted by: htimothyjones | July 16, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

You have to have something of substance to say. All the coaching in the world won't help unless the GOP moves from the right to appeal to more voters. Waste of money for him.

Posted by: patisok | July 16, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Probably trying to cover up the fact that he sounds SO gay.

Posted by: cicada99 | July 16, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Rhetorical training may make Eric "slicker" but it won't make him any smarter. Snake oil is toxic no matter which asp it comes out of.

Posted by: LoadedDice | July 16, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Cantor is a false Jew supporting what is transparently the Hitler- and Holocaust-financing Roman Anti-Christ's American "Fifth Column."

Show me a "Virginian" who rejects Mr. Jefferson and I'll show you a traitor.

o Samuel Kercheval
Monticello, January 19, 1810
SIR, -- Yours of the 7th instant has been duly received, with the pamphlet inclosed, for which I return you my thanks. Nothing can be more exactly and seriously true than what is there stated; that but a short time elapsed after the death of the great reformer of the Jewish religion, before his principles were departed from by those who professed to be his special servants, and perverted into an engine for enslaving mankind, and aggrandising their oppressors in Church and State; that the purest system of morals ever before preached to man, has been adulterated and sophisticated by artificial constructions, into a mere contrivance to filch wealth and power to themselves; that rational men not being able to swallow their impious heresies, in order to force them down their throats, they raise the hue and cry of infidelity, while themselves are the greatest obstacles to the advancement of the real doctrines of Jesus, and do in fact constitute the real Anti-Christ.

Posted by: iamerican | July 16, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

I have watched this guy be interviewed at least a dozen times and he gives almost Sarah Palinesque answers. Not really any solutions or substance. He is young so the repubs are trying to prop him up they are trying to fight the old man's party stigma. But Fox News and Morning Joe both asked him about his healthcare solutions and he gave one of the worst none answers I have ever heard.

Posted by: vachelreese | July 16, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Eric Cantor would make a great President of ...Israel, his real love. We would all benefit from this transition.

Posted by: rkthomas2mriscom | July 16, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations - Cantor is the one GOP candidate who is actually stupider than "cut and run" Palin.

Posted by: vztownes | July 16, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

W's legacy is that he has left all kinds of people with the idea that anyone can become POTUS - yes, all the Sarahs, the Cantors, and the Newts in this America of ours. Forget intellect, suitability, smarts, dedication, and commitment - you just need a big ego and some chutzpah!

Posted by: jbleenyc | July 16, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

America will NOT elect someone with the vocal pitch of an Eric Cantor. Better we should have four years of finger-nails scratching on a chalkboard.

Posted by: WhatHeSaid | July 16, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

In August 2008 news reports surfaced that Cantor was being considered as John McCain's Vice Presidential running mate, with McCain's representatives seeking documents from Cantor as part of its vetting process.[25][26][27] However, in May 2009, a source who claimed affiliation with the McCain campaign denied those reports, calling them "a complete and total joke", and blaming "Cantor’s PR people" for being responsible for the false reports.[28] ~

Posted by: WhatHeSaid | July 16, 2009 8:43 PM | Report abuse

I'm certainly no fan of Cantor, but at least he's attempting to improve himself for the national stage. Unlike Sarah Palin who just keeps bumbling along, with no interest in educating herself, relying on her charm and a wink-wink. She would do well to spend money on a course like this, but she's too dumb to know how dumb she is.

Posted by: laprofesora | July 16, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Has everyone forgotten that Mr. Cantor produced the "Barak the Magic Negro" DVD. If he does run I'm sure he will have other "macaca moments" and rightfully so. In my opinion Mr cantor is another viginia good old boy. He will never do anything but push the agenda of the party that just says no.

Posted by: fabricmaven1 | July 16, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

I really enjoy reading all the comments here attacking the Republican Party and the high profile GOP members with even a thought of running for President.

Evidence that the Dems are in a death spiral. lol Cap and trade will not pass, nor will government run healthcare. And Obama is continuing W's strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan. And Gitmo will not close in Jam 2010. And Iran will not agree to stop building nukes and mock Obama.

What did you all vote for? A radical, and Americans who gave him the benefit of the doubt now realize Obama is a mistake.

See you in 2010, suckers.

Posted by: caberry | July 16, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

If John McCain picked Palin over Eric Cantor, that speaks volumes about Eric Cantor.

McCain chose the "WASILLA HILLBILLY", over Cantor for one important reason, he knew Cantor would put a "KNIFE", in his back the first chance he got.

Cantor got his start in Va. Politics,in 1982 being the "DRIVER", for Congressman Tom Bliley(R-Va). Sounds like a shoe in for the next Republican Party's Candidate for 2012. Yea, Right.

He's an "OPPORTUNIST ", in every sense of the word, case in point.

He voted against the TARP, but positioned his "WIFE'S", company to get over $25,000,000 MILLION DOLLARS, in Federal Bail out money from TARP.

He's going no where in National Politics, and he wouldn't be in Congress now, had he not been a good "DRIVER", while KISSING up to Congressman Bliley.

Cantor for President, 'PLEASE, Eric Cantor is a "JOKE", and you can bet he has a closet full "SKELETONS", that's going to come out, one day.

Posted by: austininc4 | July 17, 2009 1:22 AM | Report abuse

Cantor leads the thrust of amnesia among GOP partisans who refuse to acknowledge still that it is the failure of their agenda that collapsed our economy. The only thing wrong with the "Stimulus" is its name. Guess what happened - our government saw the building economic calamity and passed a bill that appropriates over $500 Billion to increase funding for Medicaid - because more poor would need more medical care; more unemployment spending because more unemployed were expected, more worker training spending because more workers who would loose jobs would need retraining; more education spending to aid students who needed more college in new economy; more money to localities to avoid laying off and losing good teachers etc. Yes, earth to GOP - the "Stimulus" is government planning for what WAS expected to be an increased need for services anticipated as the economy worsened.
Imagine that - a plan that is working as more people need it. (Not like a fantasy like the Cheney Bush one that we'll be greeted like heros" and all will be well - not 6,000 american lives and $2 trillion later). Cantor and GOP care nothing for getting this economy right and having government do its job to serve its people. They only want us to serve their fantasy that lies in a trash heap. They want a smaller government? It takes a smaller economy and society to make one!

Posted by: tigman_2 | July 17, 2009 4:46 AM | Report abuse

Its good he spents thousands for speech training. But the way he speak..............he is not a Presidential material.

Posted by: justthomas | July 17, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Cantor should have spent that money buying some frehs ideas. The Republicans are clean out of new thoughts and just keep rehashing the old ones about lowering taxes for the rich, supporting their friendly neighborhood lobbyists, and gay-bashing while cheating on their wives.

I expect Cantor to crash and burn within the next few months now that he has been identified as a GOP frontrunner like Jindal, Sanford, Ensign, Palin and Perry and the other blunderers, cheaters, quitters, and secessionists in that sorry excuse for a national party.

Posted by: dee5 | July 17, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Update: Rep. Cantor denies rumors that he plans to run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. He announces that his hiring of speech coaches is simply just to help him speechify better.

Moreover, most pundits think it highly unlikely that Rep. Cantor would run unless he could coordinate his campaign stops with the Brittany Speers concert schedule.

Having seen and enjoyed Brittany live in concert before, Rep. Cantor is rumored to having some intel done on her for a possible slot as his vice-presidential running mate. Brittany has plenty of time on her hands after getting outsmarted on child custody by the K man.

Rep. Cantor can think of nothing better than the infamous shot of Brittany getting out of a car with a mini-skirt and no u-trou on as a campaign attention getter and fund raiser. Additionally, it would distract the attention of Obama and perhaps make him lose focus albeit only momentarily.

However, Cantor has yet to have cleared Brittany's selection as his veep with the C Street Project boys or his wife. Rumors are that the C Street Project boys would concur on Brittany's selection as long as she promises to re-forest herself, wear thongs and not go bare until late in the campaign. No word yet on what the wife's response would be although the scuttlebutt is that she has contacted Leisha Pickering for some advice and counsel.

Posted by: Patriot3 | July 17, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Calendar-17 July 09

Posted by: edtroyhampton | July 17, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Giving a speech is the least of cantors worries. How about accomplishing something? How about coming up with some ideas to get us out of the ditch his party put us in?

He's nothing but a whiner - definitely not presidential material. All his bills and proposals would be written in crayon - all pictures, no numbers kind of like the "budget" he tried to sell.

Posted by: NotFooledTX | July 17, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse


Does the Commonwealth really need a George Allen clone? Or another Gilmore to mess up Virginia?

Contrast Senator James Webb or Senator Mark Warner with this wannabe Cantor; there is no contrast. Cantor is really out of his league despite McConnell and Bony-er's "mentoring." Surely we can do better than young Eric.

All the speech lessons and charm schools in the world can't make a silk purse out of this one.

Posted by: suzeq | July 18, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Has everyone forgotten that Mr. Cantor produced the "Barak the Magic Negro" DVD. If he does run I'm sure he will have other "macaca moments" and rightfully so. In my opinion Mr cantor is another viginia good old boy. He will never do anything but push the agenda of the party that just says no.

Posted by: fabricmaven1

Eric Cantor had nothing to do with the "magic negro" was Chip Saltzman, former Tennessee RNC chair that put that video out....

KNow your facts before making posts...thanks.

Posted by: boosterprez | July 19, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Hmm, apparently my frank assessment of Cantor will not pass through the blog's filters. Fair enough. I can summarize my previous, blocked comments, though, by merely stating that Cantor's speechifying isn't his main problem. It's a personality problem. Call it what you will. You can't put enough lipstick on that pig.

Posted by: nodebris | July 19, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Has everyone forgotten that Mr. Cantor produced the "Barak the Magic Negro" DVD. If he does run I'm sure he will have other "macaca moments" and rightfully so. In my opinion Mr cantor is another viginia good old boy. He will never do anything but push the agenda of the party that just says no.

Posted by: fabricmaven1

Eric Cantor had nothing to do with the "magic negro" was Chip Saltzman, former Tennessee RNC chair that put that video out....

KNow your facts before making posts...thanks.

Posted by: boosterprez | July 19, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

boosterprez is right.

It was a totally DIFFERENT GOP racist prick that made the DVD.

I'm sorry that you didn't have your program available and thus gave boosterprez an excuse to show their intelligence. Of course, knowing which of the GOP's short bus riding individuals came up with something so sophomoric won't get you very far in a trivia game.

And no one would be able to answer the question "Which GOP senator/congressman actually did something for this country from 2001 through 2009 ? And you cannot name the ones that lost their seats as having done somehting good for the country, even though it is" in a game of trivia. Because there are none.

And watching Cantor demonstrates to me just how shallow the GOP talent pool really is.

Posted by: dennissuper | July 20, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

It seems obvious that Cantor and Michael Steele are certain to be the Fall Guys for the WASP controlled GOP if ever they, in the years ahead, become a force again.
They will say what can you expect from a black and a Jew?
Had we been in charge, we would be in power. It was their fault.
Wait and see.

Posted by: bobarbnparadise | July 20, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

"It was a totally DIFFERENT GOP racist prick that made the DVD."

hey man, hate to burst the bubble. but that was a parody of an article that was first published by a lib dem. the song was making FUN of the racist lib dem. it was a black guy that did the article. you can find it here:,0,5335087.story

so i guess it was a democrat racist that started the whole thing. and wouldnt making FUN of a racist make you anti-racist? oh who cares about facts!! lets all just go on unemployment in the oabam economy and then wait in line to die on his healthcare plan! whoopie!!! you guys are too funny.

Posted by: fred1962 | July 20, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

This is a joke, right?

Posted by: gmcduluth | July 22, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

To the authors of all those posts calling others "stupid" - you must be stupid!

Posted by: jimbo8 | July 23, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

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