Jon Ralston today posted a remarkable audio recording of Nevada Republican Sharron Angle meeting privately with a conservative rival, Scott Ashjian, and his allies.
The recording is worth listening to in full despite its poor quality. It suggests that -- at least for the purposes of this conversation with a Tea Party figure -- behind the facade of a real grassroots outsider who hates the organized Republican Party is ... a real grassroots outsider who hates the organized Republican Party.
“The Republicans have lost their standard, they’ve lost their principle," she tells Ashjian. "Really that’s why the machine in the Republican Party is fighting against me.... They have never really gone along with lower taxes and less government regulation."
In opposing her, local Republicans are "coming out and showing their colors" she said. "That’s kind of good."
I honestly don't see how this revelation could possibly injure Angle with voters. Although public sentiment is strongly anti-Democratic this year, it's not like voters are all jazzed up about the Republican Party, either. People are tired of a broken system and of unaccountable, arrogant leaders in Washington, DC. In some ways, positioning herself as a "reluctant Republican" (as Ben Smith calls Angle), she is adopting a very attractive posture to most voters.
Where Angle may face some fallout is when she arrives in the United States Senate--if she beats Harry Reid. Her first conversation with, say, Senator Marco Rubio could be pretty awkward:
Angle is also intensely aware of the difference between a "real" outsider like her, Ken Buck, and Joe Wilson, and an establishmentarian who has adopted the insurgent mantle.
""There may be five of six of us," he says, listing the Tea Party candidates. "Possibly Marco Rubio is real, but that's a stretch for me."
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