P puts Tea before C

January 23, 2010 · Leave a Comment

In a move that has many of her supporters wondering about her true loyalties – and her political judgment – Sarah Palin has accepted an invitation to speak to the first ever “National Tea Party” meeting (Feb 4-6, 2010), while earlier having passed on an invitation to speak to the much more established CPAC (Conservative Political Action Committee) two weeks later.

While it seems that Palin is trying to claim her own little niche of conservatism, it’s interesting that the sponsor of the Tea Party meeting – the Tea Party Nation – is actually not the leading player of the now very fragmented “movement.”  What it IS is a for-profit operator of a networking site for “grass-roots” anti-big government activists.  It’s unclear how they fronted the money in order to pay Palin’s “low six figure” speaking fee, but they are attempting to sell tickets for $560 each and find $50,000 sponsors for the event.  This event suffers from the same splintering tendencies, with board members resigning, and the troops of the Dick Armey “FreedomWorks” and “Americans for Prosperity” not attending or supporting the event.  The more established CPAC is smarting from the rebuff, and several GOP strategists are questioning the wisdom of such a move.  Palin is speaking at other conservative/GOP “must-do” events for those considering a presidential bid.

One thing is clear: Palin is turning a cold shoulder to the established “intellectual” conservative movement that has held her at an uncomfortable distance in favor of the populist, anti-intellectual rural “real America” zeitgeist.

Categories: Palin
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