It says a lot that after six years the Cincinnati Tea Party still draws such huge crowds such as they did during the 2015 Tax Day rally at the Sharonville Convention Center. Ann Becker and her band of righteous rebels have done a very good job of keeping everything together even when the established political party of Republicans has openly sought to destroy the fledgling movement. The Cincinnati Tea Party has so much influence throughout the country that it attracts national personalities like Matt Kibbe to speak at its events such as what can be seen in the following clip from that event.
Matthew B. “Matt” Kibbe is the President and CEO of FreedomWorks, a position he has held since 2004. He originally joined the organization (previously known as Citizens for a Sound Economy) as a policy analyst in 1986. He previously worked as Chief of Staff to U.S. Representative Dan Miller (R-FL), Senior Economist at the Republican National Committee (where he resigned in protest when George H. W. Bush violated his no new taxes pledge), Director of Federal Budget Policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Managing Editor of Market Process, an academic economics journal published by the Center for the Study of Market Processes at George Mason University.
Kibbe has been published in publications including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, USA Today, RedState.com, America Spectator and Reason Magazine. On television, Kibbe has appeared on MSNBC’s The Dylan Ratigan Show, MSNBC’s Hardball, FOX News’ Fox & Friends, FOX News’ Glenn Beck, NBC’s The Today Show, FOX News’ America’s Newsroom, CSPAN, FOX News’ Neil Cavuto, FOX Business Network’s Happy Hour, and HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher
I enjoyed meeting Kibbe as he’s someone who has done some great national work on behalf of the Tea Party. If not for him, and a few like him, it would have been hard to continue this act of rebellion against big government for such a long period of time. As Kibbe said in his speech, there has been a shift in the power of new media to allow discussions of freedom to rise to the top in spite of attempts from the old world to confine them. Kibbe pointed out that John Boehner should have been in attendance since he lives up the road, but was scared because he knows what the Tea Party means to established Republicans.
Of the upcoming presidential nominees from the Republican Party so far, all are Tea Party candidates. There wasn’t anybody like these guys in 2008 when McCain ran against Obama—so this election of 2016 will naturally have some debate that the rest of America has not heard before. People within the Tea Party of course have been hearing these arguments for quite a long time, but now there will be a national audience that will be cast in competition against the ideas of the past—traditionally regulated to the progressive elements of the two-party systems. The Tea Party has not died, as many hoped, but has remained a force for change from a corrupt system into a more philosophic endeavor poised to provide definitions to economic and social boundaries that have long been ignored.
Kibbe with all his great experience was very at ease on stage and provided a wonderful talk. I came in behind him as he was registering at the VIP entrance once the crowds had settled inside the auditorium at the beginning. He was extremely unassuming and confident using logic to make his points as opposed to emotion. Even when nobody was looking Matt Kibbe was a solid representative of sound economic policy. I knew who he was but didn’t bother him as he gets hammered by fans everywhere he goes. He was very polite to everyone who tried to engage him and gave him their books hoping to get coverage on his FreedomWorks network. But Kibbe stayed on point and focused until it was time for him to speak.
In contrast was Benn Swan who I have also had some interaction with in the past who gave a speech with a pretension that projected he thought he was the next Glenn Beck. Kibbe has had a lot higher profile than Swan who made a name for himself at Channel 19 in Cincinnati. Swan ducked out as soon as his speech was over shaking hands and behaving like a star wanting to sign all his autographs. Kibbe stood next to me in the back of the room looking like the kind of guy you’d want to have a beer with. We spoke a bit but otherwise he kept his profile low and his attention on the task at hand. He was as much of a class act as I hoped he would be.
Kibbe’s speech left me thankful that he does all that he does. His contributions are direct, and having a dramatic effect. He is certainly one of the people in my opinion who have helped populate the field of current presidential candidates. His national work has after all these years began showing results–and for those in the Tea Party movement, they are favorable. It is certainly because of people like Ann Becker that the Cincinnati Tea Party is still so respected, but it is because of those like Matt Kibbe that advances in political, and economic philosophy have brought to fruition an option in thought that just wasn’t present in American politics six years ago. It has been a great six years, and the next six will produce advancements unfathomable to the John Boehner types of yesteryear. And the responsibility for many of those advancements will fall directly to the antics of Matt Kibbe and his FreedomWorks network. It is for that reason I enjoyed meeting him so much.