When Fox News and talk radio host Glenn Beck comes to Washington this weekend to headline a rally intended to “restore honor” to America, he will test the strength – and potentially expose the weaknesses – of a conservative grass-roots movement that remains an unpredictable force in the country’s politics.
Beck, who is both admired and assailed for his faith-based patriotism and his brash criticism of President Obama, plans in part to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. as an American hero. He will speak on the anniversary of the “I Have a Dream” speech, from the spot where King delivered it.
Some “tea party” activists say the event, at which former Alaska governor Sarah Palin is also scheduled to speak, will have a greater impact than last September’s “9/12” march along Pennsylvania Avenue. Although the attendance figures for that anti-tax rally are disputed, it was the first national gathering to demonstrate the size and influence of the tea party movement.
TESTING SARAH PALIN’S POLITICAL CLOUT