I have been part of the kick off of the Tea Party Express bus tour as it starts its 17 day, 30 city tour, ending in Tampa, Florida on September 12th for the Tea Party Express/CNN debate. The tour starts in Napa Valley, and then heads east to Reno, NV, then across the nation up to Maine, finally following the eastern seaboard South to Tampa Bay.
On Friday, August 26th, the Napa Tea Partyheld a dinner in celebration of the impending Tea Party Express launch. Over 400 people attended a night of music, laughter, conversation and cigars (if you were anywhere near me!) At the table I sat at, I met a gentlemen in his sixties who drills water wells. With his wife by his side, he told me that he has been drilling for near 40 years, and this is the first year – ever – that there is simply no work. The economy has just stalled his business.
Another person at the table identified himself as a real estate broker. He mentioned the massive drop in real estate prices, with houses going for half of what they used to be worth. I was quick to point out that, especially in California, housing prices are far higher than the national average, and it isn’t that surprising that there would still be serious depression in the California housing market. He turned to me, agreed with my assessment, and then stated clearly:
It used to be that owning a home was the American dream. Now, you go into a house, and all you see is broken dreams.
We will be reporting throughout the day on the upcoming rally, any corresponding protests and the feel of the Napa crowd as the 2012 Presidential Race heats up.