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August 28, 2012

Straining the Tea out of the Party and Vanquishing the Also-Rans (Or, Sarah Palin’s a Stripper in Tampa)

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A gesticulating Newt playing to a half-empty room.
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Michelle Bachmann and cohorts relegated to a Sunday Unity Rally at a Tampa church, the Tea Party brand reduced to a taped-on sheet of paper.

Herman Cain Tampa

Mr. Cain, the pizza magnate, also reduced to keynote speaker at that “Unity Rally.” (With all the buzz about Mr. Akin, I haven’t any updates on Herman’s legal problems surrounding those sexual harassment charges.)

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Is that Rick? Is that Rick??

Tea Party mascot Tampa

The ubiquitous Tea Party guy and his musket, far cry from the RNC convention hall, confined to the front row of that church rally.

Sara Palin stripper Tampa
And then, Sarah Palin has been so marginalized, about the only mention, and press attention, she’s received (and it’s been plenty mocking 1,2,3), has been through news stories and wire photos of an enterprising local Tampa stripper.

In what could be a quick edition of “where are they now,” the question is how did the Romney camp and the party establishment appease the Tea Party, Michele Bachmann, Hermann Cain, Ron Paul? Not by paying for a that Unity Rally/shadow convention where they could promote their own brands (though that was a perk). They appeased them by giving them the GOP platform. Audit the Fed (Paul). A near flat tax (Cain). No exception abortion stance (Bachmann). They didn’t fully appease Ron Paul with a speaking slot since they wanted to approve his speech, but they did give his son a speaking role. To the extent a movement is driven by personalities, particularly died-in-the-wool standard bearers, it looks like this Republican is a TPINO (Tea Party in name only.)

– Karen Hull

(screenshot 1 & 2: NYT, photo 3 & 5: Michael Appleton for The New York Times. caption 3: The audience cheered for Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota at an alternative unity rally Sunday organized by a Tea Party group at the River Church in Tampa, Fla. photo 4: Charles Dharapak, Associated Press / AP caption: Jeremy Blosser and Chris Howe, both from Fort Worth, arrive on the floor at the Republican National Convention in Tampa on Monday.photo 6: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images caption: Lisa Ann, an adult film star and Sarah Palin tribute artist, speaks to reporters at Thee DollHouse gentleman’s club on Saturday in Tampa.)

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