The Surprising Woman Credited With Starting The Tea Party Movement

The New York Times reports on the “first tea-bagger,” who is younger and (slightly) cooler than one might expect:

SEATTLE — Keli Carender has a pierced nose, performs improv on weekends and lives here in a neighborhood with more Mexican grocers than coffeehouses. You probably would not think of her as a Tea Party type.

But leaders of the Tea Party movement credit her with being the first.

Ms. Carender’s first rally drew only 120 people. A week later, she had 300, and six weeks later, 1,200 people gathered for a Tax Day Tea Party. Last month, she was among about 60 Tea Party leaders flown to Washington to be trained in election activism by FreedomWorks, the conservative advocacy organization led by Dick Armey, the former House Republican leader.

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  • http://twitter.com/swadeshine Wade A. Inganamort

    What about Ron Paul's (now co-opted) 2007 teaparty?

  • Anon

    Meh-Hitler went to art school. FYI-nose rings are commonly used for cattle control-seems pretty fitting.

  • Hadrian999

    oh wait she has a nose ring, count me in now

  • festernaecus

    “started paying attention to politics in 2008″

    fuck your math degree, you're an ignoramus.

  • Word Eater

    “it didn’t make any sense to me to be spending all this money when we don’t have it.
    “It seems more logical to me that we create an atmosphere where private industry can start to grow again and create jobs.”

    I thought that was what Reagan's massive deregulation was supposed to do. They even had a name for it: trickle down economics.

    I was raised Republican so I have a favorable opinion of Reagan overall for getting hostages returned to us and for bluffing the Soviet Union. But trickle down has been a clusterfuck of big business stuffing their pockets by doing whatever it takes to make a buck and screwing the little guy.

    She also says this
    “Well,” she said, thinking for a long time and then sighing. “Let’s see. Some days I’m very Randian. I feel like there shouldn’t be any of those programs, that it should all be charitable organizations. Sometimes I think, well, maybe it really should be just state, and there should be no federal part in it at all. I bounce around in my solutions to the problem.”

  • Tuna Ghost

    I don't like the fact that she's only two years older than me but was “disenchanted” by the Clinton years. You were in junior high and high school, lady. If you only got interested in politics in 2008 then you're…you're just….god I can't even finish

  • honu

    oooh, a nose ring! what a hip girl! I’m totally going to join now. what a f-ing joke. Perhaps she’s someone who started it but then the GOP sponsored organizations and Fox news decided to come on board pouring their money into it and any semblance of a truly nonpartisan organization disappeared. Bill Maher said recently (I’m paraphrasing) that the tea party movement, ostensibly about concerns over taxes, were asked if they thought taxes had gone up or down under Obama. 98% said they had gone up. Obama has actually lowered taxes for 95% of Americans. “Only 2% of the people in a “movement” about taxes named after a tax revolt have the slightest idea what’s going on…with taxes.” I really could care less who started the tea party movement. It’s done nothing but give a spotlight to paranoids with guns. What an accomplishment. Congratulations Keli.

  • honu

    oooh, a nose ring! what a hip girl! I'm totally going to join now. what a f-ing joke. Perhaps she's someone who started it but then the GOP sponsored organizations and Fox news decided to come on board pouring their money into it and any semblance of a truly nonpartisan organization disappeared. Bill Maher said recently (I'm paraphrasing) that the tea party movement, ostensibly about concerns over taxes, were asked if they thought taxes had gone up or down under Obama. 98% said they had gone up. Obama has actually lowered taxes for 95% of Americans. “Only 2% of the people in a “movement” about taxes named after a tax revolt have the slightest idea what’s going on…with taxes.” I really could care less who started the tea party movement. It's done nothing but give a spotlight to paranoids with guns. What an accomplishment. Congratulations Keli.