Eric Cantor's Next Job? Oh, We Have Some Ideas ...
After a 13-year career in the United States House of Representatives, Eric Cantor's last day as House majority leader has come. In a shocking defeat in Virginia last month, Eric Cantor became the first majority leader to lose in a primary, and come January, he will be out of a job. In the weeks since his highly publicized loss, the once outspoken second-highest ranking House Republican, a man who once invited secessionists to the Capitol and singlehandedly extended the government shutdown of 2013, has also seemed to lose much of his fervor.
In fact, he has only taken part in two floor debates since his defeat, and even then, spoke briefly and made no controversial remarks. But today, on his final day, the Eric Cantor we know returned with a vengeance for a final hurrah.
Warning of impending destruction and the general dissolution of American as we know it, Cantor announced that he "shudder[s] to think what the world looks like in five years for us and our allies if we don't steel our resolve and stand tall with those who stand with us." He also noted that he had "never before ... been more worried about our prospects of peace due to our diminished engagement on the world stage."
Of course, another concern Cantor might have is what he'll do with himself after his term concludes at the beginning of 2015. Cantor has been in politics since 1992, when he was first elected to the Virginia House of Delegates, and leaving office will likely come as quite a shock to the veteran legislator. While Cantor certainly doesn't need to find any gainful employment to support his family, as the Center for Responsible Politics estimated his net worth in 2012 to be $9.3 million, we just can't imagine Mr. Cantor sitting around twiddling his thumbs all day.
So if you're looking, Mr. Cantor, here are a few options for you to consider.
1. Head right on over to K Street
K Street in Washington D.C. is known as the epicenter of the lobbying industry. Home to nearly every major lobbyist, think tank, and advocacy group, this is by far the most likely (and one of the most lucrative) routes Cantor could take. While revolving door laws impose "certain conflict of interest restrictions on private employment activities" after federal personnel leave office, Cantor would only have to wait, at most, a year before returning to Washington as a lobbyist. And that's assuming he doesn't find a loophole that lets him in earlier.
Several ex-lawmakers have opted for this path, including Jim DeMint, a former senator from South Carolina, who now makes over $1 million a year as the president of the conservative Heritage Foundation. This is a far cry from his net worth in 2010, which the Center for Responsible Politics estimates was around $40,000. And DeMint is hardly a lone ranger — the vast majority of the 416 former members of the 111th and 112th Congress are now effecting policy change off the Hill.
2. Be a realtor
At least, that's what Eric Cantor was supposed to do. In 1989, Cantor graduated from Columbia University with none other than a master's in real estate development. Of course, Columbia's program teaches its graduates much more than how to sell a house, but as a politician, it seems that this is something Cantor would be quite adept at.
According to the program's website, Columbia "immerses students in the three core tenets of urban real estate development: the financial, the physical, and the legal," so it seems that Cantor has a variety of specialties to choose from if he elects to re-enter the real estate world.
3. Go to Wall Street
Ah yes, the only place more hated than Congress. In 2011, a United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection poll showed that the majority of Americans, at 59 percent, supported the Occupy Wall Street movement. At the same time, a Gallup poll showed that Congress ended the year with a record low approval rating of just 11 percent.
A move to Wall Street would make quite a lot of sense for Cantor, considering his ardent support for the finance industry during his time in Washington. His biggest campaign donor in the 2013-2014 campaign cycle? The Blackstone Group, the financial behemoth. The finance industry represented Cantor's single largest financial supporter from 1999 to 2014, giving him over $3 million. Plus, his wife Diana was a vice president at Goldman Sachs and is a Wall Street tycoon.
4. Be a rodeo cowboy or a circus ringleader
Because, you know, he was the House whip for so long — a whole eight years!
5. Deliver pizza for Domino's
Considering how much money the pizza giant has delivered for the Cantors, it seems only fair for Cantor to give back in some small way. In 2005, Diana Cantor joined the board of directors at Domino's Pizza, and since then, has helped turn the company around, and rack in some serious dough for the Cantor clan.
As of 2013, the Cantors had made over $3 million from the pizza chain, and unless America suddenly decides to stop eating pizza, it doesn't seem as though that number will be decreasing anytime soon. So go ahead, Eric, pay it forward. Bring me a pizza.
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