Maybe it's true that the national Tea Party movement wants to avoid more failures like Christine O'Donnell. Rick Santorum says candidates like O'Donnell, Sharron Angle and Joe Miller "weren't really who the Tea Party is."
Maybe so, but don't tell that to the Tea Partiers of Virginia. Christine O'Donnell is on tap to headline the Northern Virginia Tea Party's annual fundraiser next month, on Pearl Harbor Day. Last seen firing back at the GOP after leading it to a loss in the Delaware Senate race, she'll speak at an event called "Celebrating Our Progress."
"We're proud of anyone who steps up and runs for office," Northern Virginia Tea Party spokesperson Daniel Cortez tells us. "She's a role model for others." Cortez says his group occupies the central ground between Democrats and Republicans. "There's a middle, and that's the Tea Party."
O'Donnell will share the billing with Virginia State Del. Bob Marshall, the guy who once said that disabled kids are divine vengeance for past abortions.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that Tea Partiers in Virginia are now trying to influence state and local politics -- running more candidates, lobbying for more issues. Already the top three elected officials are Tea Party supporters; Gov. Bob McDonnell, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and AG Ken Cuccinelli each spoke at the state's first annual Tea Party convention in October.