Last week, while one tea party winner in North Carolina should have been celebrating the final vote tally, she instead found herself at the center of one more battle between insurgent conservatives and elements of the Republican establishment. The National Republican Congressional Committee -- which reportedly had a hand in a devastating video this summer of a Democratic congressman physically confronting college-age men -- is now at apparent odds with the Republican candidate who benefited from the video's fallout. And the NRCC has drawn the ire of tea partiers and big-name conservatives like Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh.
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Renee Ellmers, a registered nurse and first-time candidate, squeaked past Rep. Bob Etheridge (D) last Tuesday night, a result that is not yet set in political stone. Both sides are gearing up for a recount, a costly and potentially long process that has publicly pitted Ellmers against the National Republican Congressional Committee and eventually led Palin and Limbaugh -- who spent much of the year taking on establishment groups -- to attack the NRCC yet again. Now, the Republicans swear everyone has made up, but not before a nasty couple of days that played out like a mini 2010.