The White House quickly pounced after news broke that Michael Steele was charging up to $20,000 in speaking fees in addition to his official gig, mocking the RNC chairman for delivering criticisms of the health care bill for profit and calling his reasoning '"delusional."
Pressed about a remark Steele made Monday, in which he insisted Democrats were "flipping the bird" to the public in the form of health care legislation, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs asked how much money Steele was paid for "that interview." Later when a cell phone ring interrupted the briefing, and someone cried out that Steele was on the line, Gibbs insisted it would cost $30,000 to answer that call. The quips were both delivered with a Cheshire-cat smile. On Tuesday morning the Washington Times reported that Steele, who earns $223,500-a-year in his RNC post, was charging roughly $10,000 to $15,000 for appearances at "colleges, trade associations and other groups." The moonlighting was condemned by former RNC chairmen Frank J. Fahrenkopf Jr. ("Holy Mackerel!") and Jim Nicholson. But Democrats also gleefully jumped on the news -- in addition to going after the substance of the RNC chairman's latest round.
He's such an easy punch line. Steele has no integrity and I wonder if his new teabagger allies will appreciate his cash cow endeavors while they struggle to survive because of the principles they believe in.