The Tea Party movement is "growing up," said convention spokesman Mark Skoda, Memphis Tea Party chairman. "We are all very mature people -- without the pointy hats and the signs. . . You will see people of quality and maturity to help bring this movement to a pinnacle whereby we actually change politics." Nothing like insulty your base; these people at Opryland are quality.
"If you take 1,000 so-called Tea Partiers and ask them what this movement is, you'll get 1,000 different interpretations," said Mark Williams, a talk-radio host and chairman of the Tea Party Express, which will begin a nationwide bus tour next month featuring Palin. "I've had pro-lifers practically standing next to pro-choicers, and gun-control people standing next to people with a pistol strapped to their hips. But they're all waving American flags and speaking out against the galloping socialist agenda."
Sounds like a bunch of damn liberals to me.
That Woman said she wouldn't be keeping any of the money from her big production number. "Any compensation for my appearance will go right back to the cause."
"As with all grass-roots efforts, the nature of this movement means that sometimes the debates are loud and the organization is messier than that of a polished, controlled machine," Palin wrote. "Legitimate disagreements take place about tone and tactics. That's OK, because this movement is about bigger things than politics or organizers."
On the other hand . . .
"The average Tea Party person is going to be sitting on their couch at home because they can't afford $600 for a lobster-and-steak dinner in a fancy hotel," said Anthony Shreeve, 27, a Tea Party organizer from Tennessee who is boycotting the convention and Palin's speech. "It didn't sound 'Tea Party' to me. It sounded more like a regular Republican fundraiser."
"We really are who we say we are?" Certainly.
Joan Billman of Greencastle, Ind., signs the back of a poster of former Alaska governor Sarah Palin at the conference.