First Formal Gathering of Tea Party Movement: National Tea Party Convention in Nashville

Sarah Palin will headline the first National Tea Party Convention in Nashville as opponents of economic and health-care policies pushed by Democrats, but the organization will is “leaderless and probably always will be leaderless,” according to Richard Armey, one of the Tea Party’s most prominent voices and a former Republican House leader from Texas. Armey heads FreedomWorks, an organization that seeks less government and lower taxes.

The convention was tarnished when complaints about an admission price of $549 at the luxurious resort were sounded. Several speakers, including Representatives Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, canceled plans to attend the National Tea Party Convention.

One activist, Mark Meckler, calls the convention the “usurpation of a grassroots movement,” adding, “most people in our movement can’t afford anything like that.”

An issue in question is whether the Tea Party movement is the birth of a new party, but most supporters want to see the Republican Party remain or return to committed to conservative and constitutional principles.

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Gaylord Opryland Resort promotional video.

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