This article first appeared in the March 2014 newsletter of the Southern California Republican Women and Men.
The good news is that the corresponding secretary and I attended the Conservative Political Action Conference or CPAC this past March 6-8. The bad news is that we missed most of it. That is to say that there was so much going on for ten hours a day for three days straight that there was no way to see and experience everything that we wanted to. From rockstar speeches to social media workshops, breakout sessions, expert panels, radio interviews, film screenings, networking opportunities, job fairs and Elvis sightings, there were at all times at least two or three things going on simultaneously that one did not want to miss, but had to choose from.
The conference was not without its controversies and detractors, even on the right side of the aisle. Even so, for conservatives groaning under the leftist regime, economy and culture of California, it was a breath of fresh air and a shot of adrenaline. The opportunity to personally meet and shake hands with such luminaries as Mike Huckabee, Michael Medved, Mark Levin, Ben Carson, John Allison, Phyllis Shlafly and Dinesh D'Souza, among others, was a special privilege. I even met a member of the Austrian parliament and Secretary General of the Austrian Freedom Party, who was there with a small entourage.
The bookends of the conference were speeches by Ted Cruz and Sarah Palin, with a high point being the announcement of the results of the Straw Poll. Rand Paul has a substantial lead above the rest of the pack with 31 percent, but it is early to write off anyone. A secondary aspect of the straw poll was the demographic information it revealed, including 46% of responding attendees being 25 years old or younger.
Tweets from CPAC
I will be presenting more detailed news from CPAC with special focus on Obamacare and taking questions at our March 29 meeting. Until then, here are some quotes from the conference which I had tweeted in real time:
@HowardHyde: #cpac2014 Ted Cruz: "You want to lose elections, stand for nothing."
#cpac2014 George Will: "How many Lois Lerners are there that we don't know about?"
#cpac2014 John Bolton: the biggest national security crisis is Barack Obama.
#cpac2014 John Bolton: We could not have ousted the Taliban if they had nuclear weapons... We must not permit Iran to get them.
#cpac2014 John Bolton: Hillary, we know what difference it makes even if you don't.
#cpac2014 Rick Perry praises conservative governors who trust the people over the machinery of government.
#cpac2014 Ken Blackwell: Unintended consequences of Obamacare may not be all Unintended.
#cpac2014 Evan Sayet, author of The Kindergarten of Eden: it is so much easier to promise Utopia than to explain principles to poorly educated people.
#cpac2014 Evan Sayet: Adopt-a-Democrat
#cpac2014 Steve Scalise: Reagan promoted American exceptionalism. Obama apologizes for it.
#cpac2014 Rich Lowry: even Democrats pay lip service to the work ethic and individual responsibility.
#cpac2014 Al Cardenas: Burger King workers in North Dakota earn $20+ per hour.
#cpac2014 Mike Lee: We need to Stop talking about Ronald Reagan and start acting like him.
New trailer for Dinesh D'Souza's 'America' Released at #cpac2014: http://www.dineshdsouza.com/
#cpac2014 Marco Rubio: "Don't take for granted what we have. What we have in America is the exception, not the rule in the world."
#cpac2014 Carly Fiorina: All issues are women's issues. Not just reproduction.