THE TEA PARTY CONVENTION: On a conference call with the Republican National Committee's temporary delegate selection committee today, RNC chairman Michael Steele predicted that the "Tea Party hootenanny" would be omnipresent at the 2012 convention. Other RNC members talked, with a mix of affection and bemusement, of how quickly Tea Party activists are becoming forces within their states. The official topic, according to someone who took notes on the call, was the 2012 delegate selection rules. The RNC is mindful that many of those delegates will be sympathetic toward the Tea Party movement and thus wary of any national effort to re-allocate delegates and penalize states that attempt to change primary and caucus dates.
So the Tea Party is already having an effect on the 2012 process ... while the RNC is proactively deciding (or trying) to be cognizant of not appearing too heavy-handed. Potential candidates themselves have solid investments in the status quo, which will make for an interesting debate. More on this tomorrow.