It seems fitting that while much of the East Coast was snowed in, a convention took place that could signal the beginning of a new era in politics. The press has focused on Sarah Palin’s role as the key note speaker, but really, just as Gov. Palin said that what’s going on in the country is “a lot bigger than any charismatic guy with a teleprompter,” what’s going on with the Tea Party movement-and even with Sarah Palin-is much bigger than just her.

There’s a growing frustration in the country with politics as usual. People were frustrated with Republican leaders…and now they are even more frustrated with the current Democratic leadership. People want something new. Maybe the GOP will be able to get it’s act together and reassure frustrated voters that they really share a fundamental commitment to limited, less intrusive government. But maybe not. Many people seem excited about Sarah Palin because she is so different from the usual politico.

Jim Geraghty has a great run down of reactions to the event, and more specifically to Sarah Palin. I especially liked Mark Tapscott’s perspective. He wrote:

I believe Palin is miles ahead of every other national figure in understanding where the country has been in the last year and what the Tea Party movement means about the future course of American politics. That doesn’t mean I think Palin is or even should be a candidate for president or any other elective office in 2012 or any other time. What it does mean is I believe Palin has a unique insight into the state of things and is moving systematically and intelligently in concert with that insight….

It’s refreshing to see so many people getting involved in politics – in particular when they aren’t pushing for a new government provided favor. Tea Party protesters just want Uncle Sam to let them be. Let’s hope that Americans keep leading and that Washington learns to follow.