Blog Archives

Tea Party supporters hit downtown Phoenix

[Source: Mike Sunnucks, Phoenix Business Journal]

If you want a pin-up poster of Sarah Palin, would like to abolish progressive income taxes or think Ronald Reagan is the best president ever, you’ll probably be in downtown Phoenix this weekend.

Approximately 2,200 tea partiers are in Phoenix this weekend for a policy summit focused on federal spending, health care, taxes and immigration. The weekend event is at the Phoenix Convention Center.

Presidential contenders Tim Pawlenty and Ron Paul, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, conservative commentator Dick Morris and U.S. Rep. David Schweikert, R-Scottsdale/Tempe, are some of the speakers.

Arpaio is considering a run for the U.S. Senate in 2012.

A host of conservative, anti-tax and anti-government groups are also in Phoenix advocating everything from the elimination of the Internal Revenue Service and progressive income taxes, to fighting labor unions and President Barack Obama on health care.

Sarah Palin will not be there, according to the event schedule. But conservative groupies of the former Alaskan governor can get a large poster of her — as well as Reagan — from the Young America’s Foundation. You just have to sign up for the group’s mailing list.

Judging from the exhibit hall and the sentiments among those attending, Palin enjoys strong support among the tea party activists for a possible 2012 presidential run.

Phoenix’s abandoned houses and auction notices signal McCain’s defeat

[Source: The Economist] — John McCain’s presidential ambitions ended in Phoenix’s swankiest hotel.  Next to a ballroom packed with Republican donors and activists, Wright’s restaurant served up lashings of arugula.  The hotel’s spa offered caviar facials and champagne pedicures.  After weeks of populist talk about Joe the Plumber and hockey moms, the splash of luxury was rather refreshing.  The evening began well.  An affluent crowd, done up to the nines, waved their pom-poms and cheered every announcement of Republican triumph, no matter how predictable (“Hey! We’ve won Utah!”).  They jeered as a rock band sarcastically honoured Barack Obama with songs like “Nowhere Man.”  Many knew the election was lost, and reckoned they might as well enjoy the party.

As the scale of the rout became clear, though, the mood turned glum.  “Every civilisation comes to an end eventually,” declared one participant.  Many had cross words for reporters, who are broadly believed to have given Mr Obama an easy ride.  A woman tried (jokingly?) to throttle your correspondent.  Shortly after eight o’clock, the crowd was told to go outside to await an announcement from Mr McCain.  There they stood, stiletto heels sinking into the lawn, and were treated to an eloquent, gracious speech.  The defeated candidate wished Mr Obama well and explained he was proud that America had elected a black man.  He even expressed sadness that Mr Obama’s grandmother did not live to see his victory.

The crowd’s response was not nearly so gracious.  It loudly booed when Mr McCain mentioned Mr Obama and Joe Biden.  When the Arizona senator urged supporters to join him in helping the new president, there were cries of “No!” and “Bush-basher!”  Perhaps most worrying, the crowd seemed keener on Sarah Palin than on their own senator.  Much earlier than many had expected, people spilled out to retrieve their cars from the valet. Driving away from the Biltmore, the aura of luxury faded quickly.  Phoenix has America’s sixth-highest foreclosure rate, and the city’s finances are a mess.  A mile from the hotel, streets were filled with abandoned houses and auction notices — signs of the crisis that, more than anything else (and certainly more than the wicked media) doomed Mr McCain to defeat.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]