Tea for 10,000?

A re-loading Sarah Palin takes aim at Boston Common
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  April 8, 2010


'Tea' is for terrorism: When even the most ‘legitimate’ voices of the right validate dangerously unhinged anti-government rhetoric — DUCK! By David S. Bernstein.
Massachusetts is the most socialist, hippie-liberal moon-bat enclave in the country. So why then, on April 14, will the ultra-conservative Our Country Deserves Better PAC be bringing its fiercest metaphorical firearm — former Alaska governor-turned Fox News contributor Sarah Palin — to Boston Common for one of her two headline appearances on this spring’s 47-city Tea Party Express tour? (Her other stop was at the March 27 kick-off rally in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s hometown of Searchlight, Nevada.)

Despite the Bay State’s left-leaning reputation, it’s no surprise that such co-organizers as Grassfire Nation and Tea Party Nation are dispatching Palin here for a final rally before the massive April 15 Tax Day march on Washington. The commonwealth is more than just every anti-tax agitator’s ancestral Eden — it’s also the site of US Senator Scott Brown’s Tea Party–backed upset over Martha Coakley. Furthermore, while local Tea Partiers are hard to identify — they tend to have better hygiene and more education than their fly-over-state counterparts — an estimated 8000 such anti-Obama revolutionaries hang their hats (and gats) in Massachusetts.

“There’s definitely been an increase in supporters,” says Greater Boston Tea Party steering-committee member Bridget Fay, who plans to cheer on Palin and the Tea Party Express. “Thirteen months ago, people thought we were crazy, and even a lot of people who secretly supported us weren’t coming to our rallies. But now, as time goes on and the economy is not improving, people are seeing that our refusal to affiliate with any political party means we’re trying to hold everybody’s feet to the fire.”

Anecdotal evidence suggests that Fay isn’t faking. Her monthly pizza powwow at Bertucci’s in Reading regularly fields about 50 guests. This past week, a newly formed posse representing Fitchburg and Leominster attracted 85 folks on a Monday night; in late March, the Boston Globe reported that a gathering in Lowell lured more than 150 supporters who came to hear gubernatorial hopefuls Charlie Baker and Christy Mihos grovel for support.

The Brown victory validated Tea Partiers as a legitimate political force in Massachusetts. In addition to their members being wooed by established conservatives, new candidates vying for seats in the state legislature are proactively attaching themselves to the movement. Lowell resident Kamal Jain has brought his state auditor campaign to a number of Tea Party functions; Chelmsford resident Sandi Martinez, who is challenging Democratic incumbent Susan Fargo for the 3rd Middlesex State Senate seat, is a co-founder of the Greater Lowell Tea Party.

“If you’re running a conservative campaign that has a shot in hell,” says Fay, “you’d better show up at these events and introduce yourself to everyone.” Adds Greater Boston Tea Party President Christen Varley: “For a candidate to not recognize that there’s an untapped grassroots resource out here is just not very smart campaigning.”

To the delight of such right-minded campaigners, 10,000 to 20,000 Tea Party gadflies are expected to descend on Boston Common next Wednesday. The following afternoon, no fewer than eight of the 27 regional Tea Party groups across Massachusetts will host their own rallies from Plymouth to Pittsfield (look for the Cape Cod Tax Day Tea Party protest at the Hyannis airport rotary; in Gloucester, activists will gather on the waterfront at high noon).

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Related: Photos: Sarah Palin and the Tea Party Express, 'Tea' is for terrorism, New and improved Romney, More more >
  Topics: Talking Politics , Sarah Palin, Russ Davis, Charlie Baker,  More more >
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