The anonymous author of “Confessions of a Tea Party Consultant,” published last week by Playboy, told The Daily Caller in an exclusive interview that it is “surreal” watching reporters try to uncover his identity.
The gist of the anonymous Playboy story is a semi-secret underground Tea Party organization of colorful, troublemaking political operatives across the country using dirty tricks to “to help reshape the debate and protect future generations from creeping socialism and unimaginable debt.”
Reporters from both the Washington Post and Politico, he said, have contacted his friends and colleagues trying to learn his name. He granted the interview on the condition that The Daily Caller would not divulge his identity. In the story, the consultant admits to being at the National Tea Party Convention in Nashville, where this reporter first met him.
“It’s such a fascinating story,” the consultant, in his 30s or 40s, said over drinks at a Washington, D.C. bar of the group. Of the 15 or so people in the inner sanctum, he said there’s been mixed reactions to his piece. Half of the people in the group don’t even know it was he who authored it.
Post reporter Dave Weigel has been asking readers for help in identifying the consultant and posted a photo that apparently shows the consultant’s chin and arm. But the consultant said he doesn’t think anyone can recognize him in that photo. “My Mom couldn’t tell it was me,” he said.
The consultant, who spent a lot of time on campaign consulting in the Midwest, said he chose to speak with The Daily Caller because, after reading the numerous comments and Tweets about his article, he wants to push back on “the violent rhetoric on the left.” He said he’s been shocked by the disparities in the reaction to the piece by conservatives and liberals. “The left is misrepresenting this so badly,” he said.
Many — on Huffington Post or Twitter — doubted his story is even real. But one liberal blogger wrote in response to the article that the members of the group are “so dangerous to our system of government they should probably be assassinated.” (“I don’t know about the guy who wrote this, but I have a family that would be sad if I were assassinated,” the consultant told The Daily Caller).
Others, after reading about his affinity for gin at a K Street hotel, have described him as a K Street lobbyist — something the consultant, who considered himself dressed up during the interview for wearing a golf shirt and khakis, said is flat wrong. He says he prefers jeans and restaurants without tablecloths on the tables.
During the interview, the consultant also elaborated on the group’s activities. He claimed that allies of prominent conservative Democrats have used intermediaries to try to convince the Tea Party group to use their Democratic money to attack Pelosi for them. “They’ve been rejected at every point that I’ve seen,” he said.
He said that the fake business cards that he hands out to reporters identify him as a leader of a rival Tea Party group, and that the group will go after the “highest targets,” like Pelosi, by financing third-party candidates that would do her the most harm.
While the consultant says he really believes in the philosophy of the Tea Party, he also really loves “the chess game.”