Joe Barton Wins Over Tea Partiers

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Nov. 29 2010 8:37 PM

Joe Barton Wins Over Tea Partiers

On Monday night, Tea Party Patriots held a multi-part conference call introducing activists to the Republicans who want to run the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the Appropriations Committee, and the Republican Study Committee. The Energy meet-and-greet came first, with only two candidates -- Joe Barton and Cliff Stearns -- dialing up. John Shimkus and Fred Upton couldn't attend.

A few months ago, the odds against Barton winning the job had looked insurmountable. During a hearing on the BP oil spill, he had apologized to executives for the treatment they were getting, then dialed back his apology on the command of GOP leaders. His term was up; he needed a waiver to get a new term. But Barton has waged an aggressive campaign against the other candidates for his job, and he's had backup from FreedomWorks and other conservative organizations that consider Upton, next in line for the job, to be unacceptably liberal. So in the call, Barton turned on the charm/

Advertisement

"I was Tea Party when the Tea Party wasn't cool," said Barton. "I was the fifth member, I believe, to join the Tea Party Caucus."

Barton previewed the argument he'll make tomorrow, before the steering committee that will decide whether or not to give him a waiver. He has the experience that other candidates lack and can get to work right away repealing "Obamacare" and fighting other Democratic bills.

"I don't think there's any daylight between what I stand for, what my constituents in Texas stand for, and what the tea party movement stands for," said Barton.

During the call, Tea Party Patriots opened up a text message vote for chairman. The results:

Barton - 53%
Stearns - 34%
Shimkus - 10%
Upton - 3%

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Hong Kong’s Protesters Are Ridiculously Polite. That’s What Scares Beijing So Much.

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You: It Spreads Slowly

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

A Jaw-Dropping Political Ad Aimed at Young Women, Apparently

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:05 PM Today in GOP Outreach to Women: You Broads Like Wedding Dresses, Right?
Music

How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

How Tattoo Parlors Became the Barber Shops of Hipster Neighborhoods

This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century

Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 1 2014 7:26 PM Talking White Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.
  Business
Buy a Small Business
Oct. 1 2014 11:48 PM Inking the Deal Why tattoo parlors are a great small-business bet.
  Life
Outward
Oct. 1 2014 6:02 PM Facebook Relaxes Its “Real Name” Policy; Drag Queens Celebrate
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 9:39 PM Tom Cruise Dies Over and Over Again in This Edge of Tomorrow Supercut
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Commissioner Thinks Keeping Nude Celeb Photos in the Cloud Is “Stupid”
  Health & Science
Science
Oct. 1 2014 4:03 PM Does the Earth Really Have a “Hum”? Yes, but probably not the one you’re thinking.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?