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Sharron Angle: Next leader of the Tea Party?
The Arizona Republican bounces back after her failed Senate bid by forming a political group to support small-government candidates
 
Sharron Angle's Tea Party action committee Patriot Caucus plans to open offices early next year in Iowa and other early primary states.
Sharron Angle's Tea Party action committee Patriot Caucus plans to open offices early next year in Iowa and other early primary states.
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Fresh off her unsuccessful attempt to unseat Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Republican Sharron Angle announced plans on Monday to launch a political action committee called the Patriot Caucus. Angle said the group would collaborate with Tea Party organizations in 15 states, helping to run grassroots campaigns for fiscally conservative candidates in the 2012 elections. "The Tea Party movement stood with me through a hard-fought race," Angle said. "It's time for me to give back." Is Angle setting herself up to be the Tea Party's leader?

Yes, this could make her a national figure: Angle is "being coy" about her political plans, says Laura Myers in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, but the Patriot Caucus will "keep her in the game." By establishing offices in early primary states and in key battlegrounds, such as Florida, Angle is carving out her spot on "the national stage." And by boosting the cause with her campaign donor list (who helped her raise $27 million for her own campaign), she's giving Tea Partiers a good reason to rally behind her.
"Angle starts Patriot Caucus"

She's not the only one courting Tea Partiers: If Angle is "hoping to eventually snatch a bit of victory from defeat," says Michael Shear in The New York Times, she's not alone. Tea Party favorite Christine O'Donnell, the defeated GOP Senate candidate from Delaware, also formed her own PAC, and the indomitable Sarah Palin launched her group soon after her loss as Sen. John McCain's running mate in 2008. If Angle wants to lead the Tea Party, she'll have competition.
"Sharron Angle starts Tea Party PAC"

This is wonderful — for Democrats: Angle's Tea Party PAC is "exciting news," says Stuart Shapiro in Liberaland. She is "a walking blunder machine" who "allowed the most vulnerable Democratic incumbent senator to win re-election in a major Republican year." And if she really does manage to help weave far-flung, disorganized Tea Party groups into a cohesive national organization, Angle will face a decision if "the Republican nominee is someone with less than outstanding Tea Party bona fides such as Mitt Romney" — "will they ignore their core values and support such a nominee or will they nominate their own candidate?"
"Sharron Angle launches new group; bloggers rejoice!"

 

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