In a speech in Maryland today, RNC Chairman Michael Steele boasted about the renewed “energy” of the conservative movement. “The energy of our base,” he said, “is strong, it is real, and it is hungry for success.” “You can feel” this grassroots energy, Steele said, proudly touting the lobbyist-organized tea bag movement:
STEELE: Those of you who live outside of Washington know what I’m talking about. Those of you who actually attend Lincoln Day dinners and county party events. Those of you who toll in the vineyards, spending time in communities in diners, barbershops, and coffee shops, where real, everyday, hardworking Americans can be found. You know it’s real. You can see it, and you can feel it. This change, my friends, is being delivered in a tea bag. And that’s a wonderful thing.
The tea bag line was immediately greeted by loud applause. Watch it:
Directly after the speech, MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell asked former Republican Rep. Chris Shays what “new ideas” Steele had proposed. “I didn’t hear any new ideas. But that’s the point — I mean, we need to be talking about ideas.” Watch it: