Episode 158, with guest Joe Plumeri

Joe Plumeri is our guest this week.
Show produced by Katherine Caperton.
Original Air Date: July 5, 2014 on SiriusXM “POTUS” Channel 124.
PoliOptics airs on POTUS on Saturdays at 8 am & 6 pm, Sundays at 4 am & 5 pm and Mondays at 2 am.
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Show also available for download on Apple iTunes and other streaming services.

On this July 4th weekend, it’s one from the heart. As you’re listening, I hope you’re driving to a ballgame or watching cheese melt over burger on a set of hot coals. You’ll find me at a water park up in the Catskills with the kids.

Our regular listeners of this show know that, over the past month or so, my pals Jeff Smith, Matt Bennett and Steve Silverman have been filling in for me, and ably so. I’ve loved the show’s they’ve put on. The reason for my absence, and why is this one from the heart, is that I’ve been at a reunion of sorts. Back in 2009, a man named Joe Plumeri became my boss. Over the last five years, he’s become a coach, a mentor and a friend, and I’m lucky for all those roles he’s played in my life.

Now, like Capt. John Yossorian in Catch-22, we’re on one more mission together. You might say it’s like turning a B-25 Mitchell into the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. This isn’t an easy assignment, but If you have to go on a tough mission, there’s no one better to follow into battle than Joe Plumeri, with 48 years of playing in traffic, and winning, on Wall Street under his belt.

The stories Joe tells on this episode of PoliOptics are, by the nature of our 1-hour radio show, abbreviated versions of what he talks about when he’s in front of an audience of thousands who give him their undivided attention for hours, culminating in a standing ovation. As much fun as we have with some of the audio clips going back to a rare one between Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in 1927, nothing substitutes for being in a live setting with Joe and watching how he captivates a crowd. National Public Radio recently compiled their list of the 300 greatest college commencement speeches of all time, going back to 1774. John F. Kennedy was on that list, as was Benjamin Franklin and Franklin D. Roosevelt. So too was Joe Plumeri, for a speech he gave at the 2011 graduation exercises at the College of William & Mary.

To provide a sense of what Joe is like on stage, here’s his William & Mary speech in full. As you’ll see, he gives the camera operator a challenge just keeping up with him.


As we celebrate the American story on this July 4th weekend, the journey that the Plumeri family has taken on these shores, since Joe’s grandparents arrived from Italy in the last century, is truly the American dream. The story moves from the streets of Trenton to the athletic fields of the College of William & Mary to the corporate boardrooms of the biggest global companies. From teacher to coach to CEO, Joe offers leadership and communications lessons at every stop, for businesspeople and politicians alike.

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