GOOD SEATS, STILL AVAILABLE…. In February, a right-wing group called Tea Party Nation organized its first national event, hosting a convention in Nashville, which wasn’t well attended. About 600 attendees showed up — less than half the total of the inaugural Netroots Nations events. For a “movement” ostensibly poised to change the American political landscape, this was underwhelming. (The attendees who did show up, by the way, gave the impression of being stark raving mad.)
But event organizers decided to give it another shot, scheduling another convention for July. Will this one generate a little more excitement? Not so much.
A National Tea Party Unity convention that was scheduled to be held in Las Vegas in July will now take place in October, according to organizers.
The event, organized by Tea Party Nation (a national Tea Party organization) and Free America (a conservative non-profit group) and other organizations, will still be held at the Palazzo Las Vegas Resort. But Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips confirmed to CNN Saturday that the date is being moved from July 15-17 to October in order to hold the event closer to the midterm elections.
“We concluded it would more advantageous to hold the convention in the middle of October just prior to the November elections,” says Phillips in a statement.
At first blush, that spin may seem plausible. Maybe the far-right effort will be better off if activists leave their local communities a few weeks before the election, and head to a Las Vegas resort. I wouldn’t think so, but organizers didn’t ask me.
The more interesting angle to this, though, is what the report didn’t mention — the “National Tea Party Unity” convention is being postponed just two weeks before it was scheduled to kick off. I’m not an expert in conference management, but it seems to me that a national group doesn’t organize a major gathering at a Las Vegas resort, lining up speakers and guests, and then scrap the whole thing two weeks before it begins unless no one was planning to show up.
Maybe Tea Partiers are having more trouble than we realized?