The Tea Party movement is all the buzz here at the State Policy Network annual conference, in Asheville, North Carolina. One speaker after another – grassroots organizers, an SPN vice president, a journalist – have all acknowledged the tectonic impact the Tea Parties have had on the political landscape. At dinner last night, Weekly Standard editor and Fox News pundit Fred Barnes suggested that the Tea Parties were at the center of a new political coalition.
The following questions emerged from these sessions: 1. What national figure will take the helm of this burgeoning movement? and 2. How can the grassroots fire be sustained over the long term? But make no mistake about it, the Tea Parties have caught the attention of the intellectual arm of the conservative movement.