BRETT: Tom in Dexter, Michigan. Welcome to the program. What’s on your mind, sir?
TOM GRACE: Hi, Brett. Yeah, you’re doing a good job being a Sherpa here on Mount Rushbo.
BRETT: Thank you.
TOM GRACE: I’m a longtime listener and an occasional caller into the show, and Rush always said that the duty of a caller was always to make the host look good.
BRETT: Mmm-hmm. That’s right.
TOM GRACE: Occasionally, we callers got to make Rush laugh, and it was always a delight to hear him laugh over something. I was able to do that the very first time I called into him because the situation was just so bizarre that he found it rather entertaining.
BRETT: What happened?
TOM GRACE: Well, I called in kind of jokingly because I just had been laid off in my job in architecture. This was back in 2011, and things were kind of bad still from the stimulus grants and everything else. I finished the stimulus project and I told him that’s why I was gonna sign up for unemployment benefits to keep President Obama’s numbers up.
TOM GRACE: He thought that was kinda funny and he said, “Stimulus job? You need to talk to Anthony Weiner.” I said, “Nobody needs to talk to Anthony Weiner. Nobody needs that kind of stimulation.”
TOM GRACE: He said, “What are you gonna do?” and I said, “Well, when I’m not doing architecture, I write novels. I’m gonna go back to writing another book.” He asked, “Have you ever published?”
I said, “Yeah, I’ve had a lot of books. In fact, I’m an international best-selling author. One of my book was number one for over 70 weeks, but it was in a foreign country; it was due to piracy.”
TOM GRACE: He goes, “Piracy?” Rush always liked thrillers —
TOM GRACE: — and liked that I was a thriller writer. He asked, “What do you mean, piracy?” So the book was number 1 for 70 weeks in Venezuela, according to Associated Press and I never got a dime for it.
TOM GRACE: They exported it out to Uruguay. It was on the best-seller list for four months in Uruguay. Rush says, “You’re kidding. Your book was nationalized by Hugo Chavez?”
TOM GRACE: “I guess you could put it that way.” He thought it was so absurd, he started laughing on the air —
TOM GRACE: — about the whole idea of a book being nationalized about another country. My book was about a piece of intellectual property that was stolen.
TOM GRACE: And then in a subsequent call, I called about something that had to do with the 2012 election —
TOM GRACE: — and it was tangentially related to a book I had been working on. I just mentioned that, you know, I had this premise in this book that deals with all these Republicans running for the nomination, and that was really panning out in the 2012 election with all Republicans running against Obama. And I said, “You know, is this to the president’s advantage?” And he very astutely answered that question and looked at it analytically, and then he said, “Well, let’s jump back to the book, though. I want to talk about the book.”
TOM GRACE: ‘Cause Rush loved books.
TOM GRACE: He says, “Well, tell me about your book.” I said, “Well, I’ve got this novel out. It’s an election thriller, and it has this unbelievable premise of a self-made political outsider billionaire making an improbable run for the presidency of the United States.”
TOM GRACE: I said, “Your brother, in fact, even blurbed my book for me.” He said, “You got my brother to blurb your book?” And while we’re talking, he gets this text in there from David saying, “I know this guy.”
TOM GRACE: In both cases, Rush — you know, just cause of a bizarre call that I made to him — ended up blowing up my Amazon numbers.
BRETT: That’s great!
TOM GRACE: And laughing about the whole thing. He actually brought The Liberty Intrigue on the air. You know, we were sitting there; he pulled his phone out and started, you know, tapping into his iPhone thing and downloaded the e-book. And later on, you know, he said it was a great book, he loved it, enjoyed the thing.
BRETT: That’s awesome! Tom, that is phenomenal. That is a real time, mutual success story because you came in, you brought good content, you’re giving him great takes, you’re giving him great lines, he’s laughing, you guys are going back and forth. And then at the end of the call, on the close on that, you end up together in the same mission. He’s getting your book, and David’s talking about your book. This is awesome. What a great story, Tom! I’m so happy you called today.
TOM GRACE: Yeah, Rush actually had to pull my name out because you’re not supposed to put your whole name out. “You gotta tell me who you are.” You know, Rush writes the rules had to tell him that I was Tom Grace.
TOM GRACE: Over the next several days, particularly after the election with The Liberty Intrigue, he just blew up my Amazon numbers.
BRETT: That’s great, Tom. That is… What a wonderful story. I so appreciate you remembering that and coming back on the program and sharing it. Look, Rush was all about capitalism, and he was all about opportunity, and you made the most of it. Thank you so much for calling in today. Have a wonderful weekend. It is just does your heart good to see something like that.