Evil demon-lord Sauron has failed in his bid to lead the American political movement known as the Tea Party after activists branded his agenda too liberal.
He has even been dubbed 'Red Sauron', with party members apparently rejecting his promise to unite the entire earth under his tyrannical and murderous rule as being too much of a "soft approach" to solving the deficit and defeating terrorism.
A party insider said: "Lord Suaron knew he needed Sarah Palin's support to win the leadership, otherwise he'd only ever be a small fish in the party."
Sauron made an eleventh-hour attempt to win Palin's support late last night in a meeting held behind closed doors.
But he emerged only minutes later in tears, stopping to tell reporters that Palin was "one mean b**ch."
A source close to the Dark Lord has been quoted as saying that he has decided to retire from front-line politics, claiming he didn't have enough evil in his little finger to compete.