"Tea Party At Its Dregs? Major Convention Attracts Few"
With Fox News host Glenn Beck’s ratings down and the biggest tea party rally eclipsed by a recent pro-labor rally in Wisconsin, could the tea party be losing steam? One new sign: a big tea party convention in Tampa, FL this weekend — headlined by such conservative favorites as Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), Fox News Judge Andrew Napolitano, and former GOP Congressman Tom Tancredo — attracted only about 300 people. The Save America Convention’s website lists 25 guest speakers, meaning there was one speaker for every 12 attendees. If one includes the 13 musicians and other performers listed as entertainment, that ratio drops to one for every 7 and a half.
Joseph Farah, the founder of the birther news website World Net Daily, who spoke at the event, promised “lots of opportunities for interactivity between participants and presenters.” Indeed, this photo from the convention posted by Saint Petersblog suggests attendees would have little competition to meet Farah and the other speakers:
Aimed at the farthest right of the far right, the three-day event touted a sponsorship from the John Birch Society and an appearance by Stewart Rhodes, the founder of the Oath Keepers militia. But this kind of uber-conservative fare has had no trouble attracting bigger crowds not long ago. There’s no video of the event — which didn’t include a single female speaker — since “video recorders and audio rendering devices are prohibited and would be grounds for removal without refund.”