One of the Senate's most soft-spoken members, Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), unleashed a little pent-up frustration on Monday, telling reporters that RNC Chairman Michael Steele was redefining the term obnoxious with his latest histrionics.
On Monday morning, Steele held a conference call with reporters in which he called Democratic Senators crafting health care reform "cowards" who are "flipping the bird" to the American public. Harkin, along with a host of other Democrats, were asked about the remarks during a press conference touting the American Medical Association's endorsement of their bill.
Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) deemed Steele's comments crass and inappropriate for "someone who has the title Mr. Steele has." But Harkin, standing off to the side, was seen rolling his eyes as he whispered into the ear of Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.)
Asked after the event why he seemed surprised by what Steele had to say, the Iowa Democrat replied.
"I didn't seem surprised. It is not the first obnoxious thing he said. I mean, the guy gives new definition to the word obnoxious. You know. He says outrageous things."
A small grin entered Harkin's face. At which point his press handler declared: "Thanks everyone" while pulling the senator away from the pool of reporters.