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A mere shadow of its showing in recent years, the annual "tax day" rally at the state Capitol attracted only a smattering of adherents on a cold, wet afternoon Saturday.

"Is the Tea Party dead because it could only bring out a couple hundred people on a cold, snowy day?" asked radio talker Mitch Berg, adding, "No, the Tea Party is watching them. The Tea Party is coming for them."

The rally lacked a headliner comparable to Sixth District Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann, who roused more than a thousand last year in the wake of passage of the federal health care law.

Bachmann, the congressional doyenne of the Tea Party movement, was in South Carolina (an early presidential primary battleground) Saturday, addressing another Tea Party rally.

Meanwhile, Minnesota's other presumptive presidential candidate, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, was stumping Saturday in Iowa, the starting point for the 2012 race for the White House.

"I'm not trying to introduce myself to the Tea Party. I'm trying to introduce myself to the whole party ... because I'm not known outside of Minnesota," Pawlenty told The Associated Press.

Meanwhile, back in St. Paul, radio talker Sue Jeffers told the crowd, waving "Don't Tread On Me" flags, "you have made a difference and you have changed the country."

Her bottom line: "Stop the spending and the government is too darn big."