(Good place to ask questions about CPAC – promoted by Patrick)
For the second year in a row, I was proud to be part of the Massachusetts Alliance of College Republicans attendees at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington D.C. for the past few days.
While the funding for the 2008 elections will come primarily from the older crowd, a lot of the (yay for no need for political correctness) bitch-work will be done by gents such as myself, the College-age people.
So what did this college-age person see, hear, and think?
That was the noise that was coming from the McCain camp at CPAC. Not only was he not present, but he didn’t even have a booth set up in the Exhibition Hall, and EVERYONE from Jim Gilmore to Mitt Romney had a booth set up.
Speaking of Mitt Romney, he did, if fact, win the straw poll with 21%. It was extremely evident from all the people I met that he was far ahead of all the other candidates as far as building an infrastructure to his campaign. The volunteers he paid to go to CPAC were from across the country, extremely well-organized, and were passionate about their candidate.
Mitt gave an excellent speech. He had an enthusiasm that really held the crowd, and gets bonus points for
A. Bringing Ann up on stage to have a word.
B. Avoiding saying he was pro-life.
The best speech? Well, in my opinion, this one goes to Fmr. Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. His speech was very well spoken, and given with a humility and tone that sounded more Reaganesque than the others could have dreamed. He didn’t speak with an intent to rile the crowd with cheers and applause, but with a tone that made you sit back, listen, and feel emotion that really made you proud of the U.S.A.
OH YEAH! OOOH YEAH!
What’s that? Kool-Aid? OH YEAH, there was Kool-Aid by the bucketful there. Tom Tancredo, the one-trick pony of anti-immigration law gave a speech that made the crowd want to go lynch a Hispanic rather than vote for someone. Ron Paul also spoke, but in a smaller conference hall. I could barely see him though, due to the tall, cowboy-hat wearing nutjobs who were basking in the glow of the nutjob-royal. When he got done listing all the government departments he wanted to get rid of, I was about ready to go join the Black Hand and throw a bomb at Crown Prince Ferdinand.
This is the year where the no-chancers have their biggest support. There was a considerable number of Sam Brownback supporters, despite the fact he has as much a chance of winning as my man, Huckabee. Tancredo had the loudest, most annoying bunch, and the Romney people were around every corner with stickers and papers. Coming from this state, I sometimes feel like there aren’t any conservatives left in the world. Not being able to go from room to room without then dogging you for this person or another really made me feel better about my political disposition.
This was also a good time to remind me that conservatives have a sense of humor too. Between Ann Coulter and Grover Norquist, I fell on my ass laughing more than a few times. I slept through Sean Hannity, but I’m told he was also hilarious.
hat tip to Sean: “I see that about 75% of you are hungover from drinking last night. That’s ok, it’s President Bush’s fault!”
I however, would blame the bouncer who looked at my license and said “close enough.”
This year was a little less rowdy this year…you could definitely feel it in the air that we knew this was going to be an uphill battle, but there was also a great optimism that despite being uphill, it was a battle where we felt victory could be ours.
So the Storm Troopers are getting in line and forming their ranks, ready to march into battle for whomever wins the nomination. Woe to the opponent of that person. Woe, indeed.
To conclude, I’d like to mention something that I noticed that sort of caught me by surprise. Every last Conservative Mormon girl I met at CPAC was blonde and beautiful. I would kindly ask people to stop complaining about Mitt’s past. I wanted to marry every last one of them, and if not for government statutes, I’d gladly have done so.
If anyone has a question about something, ask away.