The Swarm

Mix it up with The Bee's editorial board.

February 13, 2013
Tea Party Express lauds Rand Paul's Tea Party Express speech

Sacramento strategist Sal Russo's Tea Party Express today declared Sen. Rand Paul's Tea Party Express answer to President Obama's State of the Union Speech to be a raging success.

"Paul gave an amazing speech last night and clearly articulated the Tea Party's conservative message," the Tea Party Express said in a fund-raising email sent on he morning-after the amazing evening.

Other reviews were mixed.

Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post reported: "At its best it reflected real movement on the right in favor of immigration reform; at its worst it was just plain weird."

On MSNBC, the Rachel Maddow blog said: "Paul's entire pitch was just tired, more likely to generate eye-rolling than outrage."

For a down-the-middle assessment, Reuters news service said the Kentucky Republican echoed themes in the GOP's official response by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

Here's our own McClatchy report, which noted that Paul advocated letting the sequester, an $85 billion round of automatic cuts, happen.

Paul stuck to the small-government, low-tax, tight-fisted themes that Russo's Tea Party Express political action committee extols. Paul didn't interrupt himself by taking a swig of water, but did slip into a sing-song, high-pitched style of speaking, not presidential.

The son of a physician-congressman said that in this country, success is "not based on who your parents were but on your own initiative and desire to work." He also took a back-hand slap at Obama for sending his children to private schools, saying life will improve "when every child can, like the president's kids, go to the school of their choice."

Back to Tea Party Express's view: "If the President instead continues down a polarizing big-government path, the electorate will mimic the 2010 sentiment in 2014 and 2016." By the way, the email concluded, "Please support the Tea Party by donating today!"

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About The Swarm

The Swarm is written by members of The Sacramento Bee's editorial board. They meet daily and are separate from the newsroom. Views included here are those of individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect those of a majority of the board or the positions expressed in The Bee's editorials.

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