So with a normal nominee, you might expect Republicans to be going to town on this report:
David Plouffe, a senior White House adviser who was President Obama’s 2008 campaign manager, accepted a $ 100,000 speaking fee in 2010 from an affiliate of a company doing business with Iran’s government.
A subsidiary of MTN Group, a South Africa-based telecommunications company, paid Plouffe for two speeches he made in Nigeria in December 2010, about a month before he joined the White House staff.
Yeah, I know there’s more sizzle than steak with this. Plouffe wasn’t in the White House when he made the speech, he violated no laws or ethics codes, his speech never touched on anything to do with the subsidiary’s Iran deal, and nobody has even hinted that he’s done anything to benefit the company since taking his job at the White House. But despite all that, this is the kind of thing you’d expect Republicans in a frenzy over.
Except they have a problem. A Mitt Romney problem. Because, as the very same article notes, until last year, Mitt Romney sat on the board of directors of a company that does business in Iran: Marriott. Not only that, but:
Some of the largest stock trades made by the Romney trust involved companies that have operated in Iran.
Among those companies? Turkcell, a Turkish telecom firm that had the Iranian wireless contract before MTN’s subsidiary won the business. And not only did Turkcell once have the very same contract held by MTN, but they are now suing—in United States court—to win the contract back. So Mitt Romney not only owned shares in a company that conducted they very same business as MTN’s subsidiary, he owned shares in a company suing to get that business back. And who knows, maybe if they’re successful they’ll pay Eric Fehrnstrom a hundred grand to give a speech or two.