Quote of the Day

QUOTE OF THE DAY…. Mother Jones‘ David Corn ran into RNC Chairman Michael Steels at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner over the weekend. Corn had the wherewithal to say the smart thing: “Well, I have to say, thank you. You’ve been good for business.”

It was, of course, a good-natured insult — Steele is “good for business” because he makes bizarre comments with surprising frequency. I enjoyed Steele’s response.

He leaned back, pulling himself to his full height, and, laughing, proclaimed, “I’m the gift that keeps on giving.” Almost as if he were proud of that. Certainly, he was just engaging in that self-deprecating humor that pols are taught to deploy. But it struck me as odd that he would beam so much as he said that. I wondered about the guy.

“I’ve always been of the view,” I said, “that party chairs ought not to be seen or heard but should stick to managing the party mostly behind the scenes.” Hint, hint.

“That’s what I keep telling them,” he said. Them? I wasn’t sure who “them” was. But it seemed as if he meant Republican insiders. And that was odd. Was Steele suggesting that he would prefer not to be in the public light as much but that “them” wanted him in front of the television cameras and microphones representing the GOP — rather than doing all that inside work?

I wonder how many Republicans on the Hill watch Steele and just slap their foreheads.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.