My Tea Party with Randal O'Toole
O'Toole had no handout, and offered no link to his talk so we could not go home and study his statistics.
I am a follower of Randal O'Toole, actually a stalker. I've read his material; I've responded to him online when Comments are allowed. I am actually fascinated by this persona. So, when a friend offered to take me along to Racine to hear him, I jumped at the chance (too far for a bike ride on a Tuesday night).
Randal (a Cato Institute Fellow) changed his talk a bit over the past few months. Instead of closing with a report on his "hobby," he opens up with his hobby - refurbishing trains (for museum purposes); point is - no one should subsidize my hobby. Got it, Randal.
Opener. To measure his audience he uses what any smart speaker will use, something engaging. A suggestive remark about the recent health care bill (just passed) brought a roar of approval and applause from his audience of about 200. He knew; they knew; they are on the same side: distrust of government, the theme of the evening, repeated ironically by elected officials and the candidates for office running on Tea.