November 26th, 2009
04:40 AM ET
5 years ago

Palin, Bachmann to headline Tea Party convention

Palin, Bachmann to headline Tea Party convention.
Palin, Bachmann to headline Tea Party convention.

(CNN) – Sarah Palin will be the main attraction at what's being billed as the "First National Tea Party Convention."

Tea Party Nation announced Wednesday that last year's Republican vice presidential candidate will serve as keynote speaker for the conference, scheduled to take place in Nashville, Tennessee February 4-6. A representative for Palin has confirmed the former Alaska governor's speaking role at the gathering.

The group also announced that Rep. Michele Bachmann will be speaking at the gathering as well. The Minnesota Republican has become a hero among many in the conservative movement. A representative for Bachmann confirms her speaking role.

The event could focus the political spotlight on both women. Bachmann has become a rising star, her ascent fueled in part by major support from Tea Party activists. For Palin - currently taking a brief Thanksgiving break from a national tour for her new book, "Going Rogue: An American Life" - serving as headliner at a tea party convention could increase speculation that she is weighing a run for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination.


Judson Phillips, a spokesman for Tea Party Nation, says the group is talking with other high-profile political leaders about possible convention roles, though he wouldn't name any names.

"(T)he convention is aimed at bringing the Tea Party Movement together from around the nation for the purpose of networking and supporting the movements' multiple organizations (sic) principle goals," according to a statement from the group.

Phillips says the conference will feature workshops, seminars, information centers, and organizational tools for leaders to take back to their respective local tea party organizations. He adds that the Republican Party is not coordinating or organizing with Tea Party Nation in any way.

Phillips says Tea Party Nation was launched in April, just before the first tea parties were held across the country on tax deadline day, and that the group held rallies in Nashville and in other parts of Tennessee on April 15. He added that Tea Party Nation also organized a smaller tea party event in early July, when a second round of events were held around the nation, but did not take part in the two cross-country tea party caravans held the past few months.

A spokesman for the Tea Party Express, which organized those two cross country tea party caravans, says they are not currently involved in the organization of the convention, but that they are supportive of the gathering's goals.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn

Updated 7:30 p.m. with confirmation from Palin's representative

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