Yes, I know it’s been a week since the CPAC festivities came to a close, but you know… hangovers. Thanks a lot to Michelle Ray and Eye Desert for the Stoli-soaked gabfests. The bill for my cirrhosis screening is in the mail.
Flying into Denver during the debate drubbing of Obama on Jet Blue was quite the experience. I haven’t seen that many jaws open since I took my kids to a government-run clinic to get them screened for strep throat. Hundreds of passengers with their own personal tv sets flipping from channel to channel, desperately wondering what happened to President Kardashian and that maybe this was an SNL skit… gone right.
Landing at Denver International Airport and taking a look outside made one instantly fathom the X-files-like appeal of the joint. I don’t know if the murals in the baggage claim section were painted by Salvadore Dali possessed by the spirit of Joseph Goebbels, but “the truth is out there.”
Met up with the overly sassy Michelle Ray aka Galtsgirl at the Crowne Plaza and the inappropriately debonaire VodkaPundit Stephen Greene was already disputing his liquor tab with two hapless barmaids. Eye Desert was mulling whether or not he wanted to finish his chicken quesadillas, which we later found out to our chagrin had a dash of salmonella.
The morning came crisp as a Mitt Romney tie and we filed into the Michelle Ray mom-mobile for a venture from the Fort Collins area down to the godawfully early conference. We set up at the pre-arranged booths, and I snagged a table in the corner to hock my new book and do some emergency blogging. You’d never guess how looking completely innocuous and disinterested is like a giant magnet for all the most “colorful” characters in attendance.
But Exhibition Row was also loaded with fresh-faced, doe-eyed coeds looking for some resume padding. As if Eye Desert didn’t have trouble concentrating already. We moved to the main conference room just in time to catch the scintillating Marco Rubio. But an odd thing happened just before Mitt Romney’s awesome surprise visit: Michelle Ray ran off muttering something about going to give her dogs a bath. Those are some lucky dogs.
On the way to lunch I bumped into some smartass leftists guerrilla interviewing a seasoned citizen for an online video. Unfortunately for them, the lady was from Castroite Cuba and she sent the young communist ideologues packing with some juice boxes and a motherly swat on the butt.
The afternoon meant a lot of hobnobbing with media types from the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post and so forth and some wonkish convo and what-not. By the time of the evening festivities, everyone was good and sauced-up from the VIP get-together, and the usual suspects were meeting up with Tabitha Hale at a local joint Bar Louie.
The virtually open bar situation was probably not the wisest idea, seeing that price is a natural barrier to alcohol-related stupidity. After everybody was liquored up, ToraRadical felt compelled to bust out a rhyme, causing my G&T to crash onto the table with a cry of “Gin Check!” Idiots and alcohol have a way of finding each other.
After-hours meant a bunch of smart people acting stupidly. Guy Benson from Townhall came up with some NC-17 rated campaign advice for Romney, wordplaying on the body part that rhymes with “Mitts.” There was also more flirtation going on than a Sadie Hawkins dance invitational at an all-girls Catholic School.
In the wee hours, the conference attendees were either sick or engaged in extra-curricular activities. As for myself, I had Long Island ice-tea’d my way out of commission and was cat-dragged to the van along with Eye Desert for a return to my surprisingly girly accommodations.
Beyond the strictly by-the-book aspects of the conference was the more important part: Meeting up with hundreds of other patriots who care greatly about the future of the nation.
Yet it wasn’t the presentations or the momentary exchanges with media figures that made a more lasting impression, but the chance for less superficial conversation with others at Conservative Daily News. It was spending time engaged in deeper-than-usual discussion with Eye Desert and Michelle Ray that drastically changed my life for the better and my attitude towards conferences in general. I can’t wait for the next CPAC in March.