After Media Hype, Tea Party Presser Falls Flat


The Washington Post ballyhooed it as the startling unveiling of the tea party movement's broad national organizing strategy for the 2010 midterm elections. The Post's man on the scene at Opryland, somebody named Philip Rucker, reported:
This will be the first such national plan for a political movement that arose a year ago, partly in response to President Obama's policies and is made up of hundreds of local tea party groups. It comes as hundreds of tea party organizers have convened to discuss ways to use their grass-roots power to create tangible political success this year.
And it was all to be revealed to the mere mortals in the media at an afternoon press conference. Well, the presser is over, and we have to admit we're a little disappointed. The grand announcement? The fast-talking dude who by default has become the convention spokesman announced--ta da!--he's setting up a corporation to set up a political action committee to try to suck up tea party cash. Mark Skoda, a tea partier from Memphis, made it sound like his new Ensuring Liberty Corp. is backed broadly by the tea party movement. But he finally acknowledged under questioning that it's actually not. "Ensuring Liberty Corporation and the affiliated PAC which is being formed is distinct and separate from Tea Party Nation and the tea party movement," he told reporters. Who's PAC is it? "I'm the leader of the PAC," Skoda said. Update: The Post's Mr. Rucker seems deflated by the press conference too. His follow-up report is less hyperbolic: "It was difficult to determine during Skoda's 30-minute news conference whether his PAC had been embraced nationally or whether he was launching it as a lone wolf. Pressed by reporters, Skoda acknowledged that his PAC does not yet have support from the hundreds of activist groups that make up the tea party movement. The PAC, Skoda said, is 'distinct and separate from Tea Party Nation and the tea party movement.'"

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