I thought I would have had to wait longer to get Anthony Scaramucci to give me his rules to live by. But the Mooch is well aware that time is money.
At 8:49 p.m., I paid $100 to get a personalized video from President Trump’s former communications director. Scaramucci is one of thousands, ranging from semi-celebrities to hemi-demi-semi-celebs, available for birthday greetings, wedding announcements, graduations and other essential moments in life on the online platform Cameo.com. I have asked the Mooch to tutor my friend “Wex” in the ways of success. I have placed my digital cash on the digital table. Before Scaramucci can pick it up, he must deliver a short video fulfilling my request.
It didn’t take long. Before I have even heard a single word of wisdom, the Mooch has proved that he knows the first rule of success: If some knucklehead wants to give you a hundred bucks to talk into your phone, for God’s sake, take it. By 9 p.m., my credit card was charged and the Mooch is in my mailbox.
I fear that I must have interrupted his dinner because Scaramucci does a little discreet chewing and tooth-sucking between life-lesson tidbits. But give the man his due. He is well-tailored and well-pressed, especially his snowy white shirt collar, tall and dandified enough for Tom Wolfe’s tastes. And that’s with less than 10 minutes’ notice.
The Mooch stumbles a bit with the name Wex. But who can blame him? It isn’t really a name but an abbreviated portmanteau derived from W-ashington EX-aminer. After all, if Beto can be a nickname, so too can Wex.
The preliminaries over with, Professor Scaramucci gets down to business, careful to deliver exactly what I have requested of him.
“I’m going to give you the four rules to live by.” The first of which is, “You’ve got to get up every morning and have a plan of attack.” Not bad advice. Though it does raise the question whether, back on that fateful day in July 2017, the Mooch woke up and decided that his day’s plan of attack included unleashing a farrago of obscenities about his White House colleagues to the New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza.
Rule No. 2: “Plans change, so you have to be unbelievably adaptive in your life.” Plans do indeed change, as when one is fired for unleashing a farrago of obscenities about one’s White House colleagues to the New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza.
But it’s Rule No. 3 where Scaramucci really delivers the goods: “You gotta be tough,” he says. “You can’t let people bully you.” If he had been video-phoning it in before, the Mooch now speaks with conviction: “I mean, look at what’s going on with me right now. I’ve got the president of the United States bullying me on his Twitter feed. And my wife is also being bullied on this j—off’s Twitter feed. You can’t have that!”
In the interest of journalistic fairness, I would have sought a response from the president, but Donald Trump is not available on Cameo. There are a number of Trump impersonators to choose from, but not the actual Tweeter-in-Chief.
Scaramucci is hardly the only Trump-world castoff trying to cash in courtesy of Cameo. At the website, one can see examples of the messages that can be personalized for a price. Omarosa ($58) is chipper and cheerful in her promotional Cameo sizzle-reel. Stormy Daniels ($250) goes through the motions with a sullen lassitude befitting her status as a professional.
My hundred-dollar minute with the Mooch is nearly up, and he draws to a close with a Mel Brooks line that he often repeats: “Relax,” Scaramucci says with a broad, vaguely reptilian smile. “None of us are gettin’ out of here alive.”
Eric Felten is the James Beard Award-winning author of How’s Your Drink?
The Mooch Method
Stormy Daniels Photo ( from Brazzers Network )