Monday, March 14, 2011

Iowa's Tea Party Kingmaker - The Atlantic

Not even three years ago, the chairman of the Iowa Tea Party was a 26-year-old college student studying "turf grass management''—as in golf courses. Taking two years off to work odd jobs had left him without enough credits to graduate. He was broke.

Now, potential presidential candidates know Ryan Rhodes on a first-name basis. And by virtue of his status as a movement leader in the state with first dibs on the presidential race, he's poised to play an outsized role in helping to choose the 2012 Republican nominee.

The Iowa Tea Party's two-week-long statewide bus tour in June aims to train hundreds of voters to participate in the Iowa caucuses and showcase presidential candidates along the way. It's an ambitious goal for a loosely organized group with a website still under construction.