During campaign season, when the political microscope is turned to high power, anything mildly outrageous can be a theme for a day. Could CNBC's Rick Santelli be one of those themes for the GOP?
Two websites and a petition have sprung up since Santelli's now widely publicized on-air rant yesterday, in a pit of traders on the floor at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, against President Obama's $75 billion plan to help struggling homeowners refinance, all in favor of Santelli's proposal for a Chicago Tea Party in July.
"We're thinking of having a Chicago Tea Party in July. All you capitalists that wanna show up to Lake Michigan, I'm organizing," Santelli fumed yesterday. "We're gonna be dumping in some derivative securities, what do you think about that?"
Turns out Santelli may not be the one organizing after all: the conservative
American Free Market Fund's American Future Fund's petition, launched yesterday afternoon, invites signers to attend such a party in Chicago in July. 3,500 people have pledged to attend, the group says, and the idea of busing people in has been floated. That's on top of two smaller sites dedicated to promoting Santelli's suggestion.
"The Chicago Tea Party of 2009 will reinvigorate that American and Patriotic spirit; one that demands respect for individual rights and property," one of the sites, www.reteaparty.com, promises.