There has been much debate as to whether the Tea Party movement needs a leader. I have argued that an unorganized network of disparate camps will ultimately lose its influence. Others have argued that with a "leader" the movement will lose its grassroots nature and become another failed third party. I think the danger of that is very real and if a leader emerges, they need to have the goal of uniting the various tea party camps, but KEEPING the movement organic.
Some have thought Sarah Palin might be that leader. I actually encouraged this thinking at first. Then came the Fox News gig. Then came the speaking for a fee at the plastic tea party convention. Now she's campaigning for John McCain over true tea party candidate J.D. Hayworth. As is pointed out in this story, this is likely payback; were it not for McCain, nobody south of the Canadian border would no who she is. But it's this type of political favor repayment that is anathema to the teaparty movement. I'm still a Sarah fan, but she's not the leader to bring the tea party movement together. And given the words between the McCain and Palin camps after the election, that McCain WANTS her to campaign for him says a lot about how afraid he is in this campaign.