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The Tea Party Express comes to D.C.

I snapped photos of this afternoon's tea party rally in downtown D.C. in between interviews with organizers Sal Russo and Mark Williams. My impressions of the crowd: comparable to the one that showed up a year ago, for a tax day protest in Lafayette Park. My impression of the organization: tight, with plenty of media access, and plenty of not-ready-for-prime-time content allowed onstage. Why not, say tell Victoria Jackson to cool it on her "Communist in the White House" song? Why not fret about the people with signs calling for the president to go to Kenya? Because, said Williams, an attack from the left was "worth three bus tours." I didn't take video because the event was so well-covered that "embarrassing" footage will show up soon enough. Several ThinkProgress, armed with flip cameras, were making the rounds, and I'm sure they got what they came for.

Below the jump, my photos:

Flags, signs, shirts and buttons were on sale everywhere, a sign of how savvy marketers know they can print some pro-Constitution or anti-Obama boilerplate and make easy money.

Yes, there was some of this. Also: "A village in Kenya is missing its idiot." The presence of birther conspiracies at rallies of a certain size is no longer surprising.

Some specific allegations of anti-Catholicism in the White House; the flip side of the sign bashed Bart Stupak.



Waiting to meet celebrities next to the stage.

The Michele Bachmann scrum. Wherever the congresswoman from Minnesota walks, fans and reporters follow. After she crossed the street for privacy, a phalanx of protesters spotted her again, racing over to ask for an autograph.

Some gorgeous design here.

IMG_3491

You can't see his face, but this is Tom Andreassen, 63, very worried that the Department of Homeland Security is going after conservatives.

More points for design.

All photos by David Weigel

By David Weigel  |  April 15, 2010; 3:44 PM ET
Categories:  Tea Party  | Tags: Barack Obama, Bart Stupak, Department of Homeland Security, Michele Bachmann, Minnesota, United States, United States Department of Homeland Security, White House  
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