We see Ayn Rand differently. She left the USSR for the America she saw in Hollywood's productions, but it was the essense of America she sought, not the essence of Hollywood. When you imply that Rand was about publicity to any degree, I can only scratch my head at how much you have missed the essence of Rand.
We do agree that she was a genius, and that any college survey text on philosophy that leaves her out is insufficient and inept. And we agree that the Tea Party is primarily traditionalist.
But we disagree about them only being against the present Democratic administration. It wouldn't even make sense to say that that in a literal fashion - I mean, why are they against this administration? One assumes there are reasons.
The Tea Party can't yet be clearly understood as any single set of principles because they are too mixed - there are some libertarians, some Objectivists, some constitutional conservatives, some religious right, some "national security conservatitives" (I believe that is the proper description for those who favor the various middle eastern wars we are in), but no NeoCons, no big-government conservatives. It would be true to say that they are more united in what they oppose than what they support, but what they oppose is big government. They just do so from different perspectives. The closest one could come to assigning a single description that bridged all members would be, "advocates of smaller government."
The Objectivists in the tea party would, of course, support Objectivist metaphysics, but then many of the other members would also support it... once it was explained to them. They are mixed, but more would side with Aristotle, once understood, than with Plato.
It is sign of the recognition that Ayn Rand is receiving that books and articles and columns mention her name more and more often - both from positive and from negative directions.
It used to be, that when one saw that there was a new book written about her, it was approached with the assumption that it was pro-Rand (because that was nearly always the case) and the question was, "Is it any good?" Now, the assumption is that the book is probably written to cash in on her name recognition (and the question remains unchanged).