This just in from Politico’s Andy Barr:

Hoping to recapture the grassroots energy of last month’s “tea parties,” Republican Govs. Mark Sanford of South Carolina and Rick Perry of Texas will host a tele-town hall Thursday that’s being dubbed “Tea Party 2.0.”

The Republican Governors Association said it is expecting 30,000 people to participate in the town hall, which will take place roughly one month after the much-publicized anti-tax tea party rallies held in hundreds of locations across the country on April 15, the tax filing deadline.

Sanford and Perry will each speak for several minutes before opening up the town hall to up to an hour-long question and answer session.

Sanford spoke at a tea party event in Charleston, and his battle with his legilature over stimulus funds is being closely watched. Perry attended three tea parties in Texas and rather publically endorsed a state House resolution reasserting the Lone Star State’s sovereignty.

While a town hall meeting won’t have quite the impact of the original, Ver. 2.0 could be a step forward for the resistance to Obama Nation. A town hall format, with its questions and answers, will be more difficult for The Left to demonize than the enthusiastic public demonstration which went before. And, since both governors are being touted as possible 2012 GOP presidential nominees, it will be interesting to see them interact both with the grassroots and with each other in a town hall venue.

Perhaps best of all, however, it parallels the NCNA listening tour and could show that group that the overwhelming majority of the Republican Party’s rank and file has already decided the question of what the GOP’s principles should be. There is no question among the grassroots of whether the party should be more conservate or more moderate. The only remaining question is how best to get the party back to practicing the principles it should never have so carelessly abandoned.

– JP