Tea turnout is loyal, but lower than expected - Metro US

Tea turnout is loyal, but lower than expected

While there was no dearth of yellow “Don’t Tread On Me” flags at the Boston Common yesterday, the second to last stop on the Tea Party Express didn’t attract the crowd of supporters organizers anticipated.

Christen Varley, president of the Greater Boston Tea Party, told Metro last Thursday they expected “maybe up to 20,000” followers yesterday, but police estimated only around 5,000, the State House News Service reported.

Despite the underwhelming attendance, the Tea Party crowd came ready to make some noise and amongst all the signs, none signaled disappointment in the outcome.

“It’s not about putting on a show,” said Varley. “We collected over 1,000 names of people who want to join the Tea Party network and join existing groups or start groups of their own.”

Keynote speaker, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, drew plenty of media attention, as well as several hundred counter-protesters to the rally.

The crowd joined chants of “drill, baby, drill” and erupted as the charismatic speaker made dire predictions for the Democrats come voting season. Jack and Cathy Cascio left their home in Ware at 6:30 a.m. to make it to yesterday’s rally.

“It was awesome,” Cascio said of Palin’s speech. “It was everything I expected to hear.”

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