Chris K. isn't sure how he feels about all this. He gave Tea Party poster girl Keli Carender her first interview when he covered her "Porkulus" rally—now widely considered the first Tea Party rally in the country—for the Cola back in Februray, 2009.

And then, when she bailed on the big Sarah Palin event early last month—the supposed national Tea Party convention in Tennessee—Chris wrote a small feature on her for us.

Well well, KING 5 had her on last week and this weekend—a NYT feature:

SEATTLE — Keli Carender has a pierced nose, performs improv on weekends and lives here in a neighborhood with more Mexican grocers than coffeehouses. You might mistake her for the kind of young person whose vote powered President Obama to the White House. You probably would not think of her as a Tea Party type.

But leaders of the Tea Party movement credit her with being the first.


Ms. Carender herself has become a Tea Party leader, even a celebrity.

At the Olympia rally, she did a television interview and accepted a hug from Kirby Wilbur, the radio host who first publicized her porkulus protest. “This is the future of the conservative movement!” he declared upon seeing her.

Her biggest goal now, Ms. Carender said, is replacing Senator Patty Murray, a Democrat elected three times by wide margins, in November.

So Ms. Carender held a small anniversary rally on Saturday at a local mall. But her focus is on vetting candidates and using the contacts she has established over the last year to get out the vote.

“There is no way we will out-fund-raise the liberals,” she said. “The only weapon we have is energy and time.”
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