Tag Archives: CPAC

Perry, Paul & Huckabee at CPAC 2014

Gen. John Bell Hood, another Texan that could get a crowd moving.

Gen. John Bell Hood, another Texan that could get a crowd moving.

Gen. Robert E. Lee used Texas infantry as his reliable shock troops during the Civil War. If Hood’s division couldn’t drive the Yankees from a position, then no troops could.

Evidently CPAC schedulers are of the same opinion.

On both of the first two days of the conservative conference Texas speakers were used to soften up the crowd for all the speakers that followed.

On Thursday it was Sen. Ted Cruz (R–TX) and on Friday it was Gov. Rick Perry (R–TX).

Perry hit the stage cold to the tune of AC/DC’s ‘Back in Black’ and did so without anyone to introduce him. Perry is now sporting black nerd glasses that make him look more intellectual without softening him up so much that he looks like pajama boy in the Obamacare ad.

The governor began by stating that on the battlefield of ideas “a little rebellion now and then is a good thing.” Then there was a long pause, which started to produce debate flashbacks for me, but it proved to be just a slow Internet connection.

Besides being another step on the stairway to political redemption, the speech was a rousing defense of federalism. Perry says for the solution to the problems facing the country we should not look to Washington, but instead we should look to the states that “are laboratories of innovation.”

And the states provide a contrast between two visions. In the blue vision the state “plays an increasing roll in the lives of citizens.” Taxes are high, public employee pensions are out of control and jobs are leaving.

Perry contrasted that smothering philosophy with the red state vision where “freedom of the individual comes first and the reach of government is limited.” There taxes are low, spending is low and opportunity is high.

Then Perry did something surprising. On Friday when Chris Christie spoke the examples were mostly about him and about New Jersey. But that’s not what Perry did. He started off by giving other Republican governors credit for their good ideas and successful records.

He mentioned Nikki Haley in South Carolina, Bobby Jindal in Louisiana, Scott Walker in Wisconsin and Rick Scott in Florida. Then Perry proceeded to list accomplishments particular to each.

Perry was halfway through his speech before he even mentioned Texas. He spoke first of the common denominator among all red state leaders, “Conservative governors who know freedom of the individual must come before the power of the state…the contrast is crystal clear.” He then used an example from the world of transportation. “If you rent a U–Haul to move your company it costs twice as much to go from San Francisco to Austin as it does the other way around, because you can’t find enough trucks to flee the Golden State.”

Only then did Perry say, “Let’s pick a large red state, shoot let’s pick Texas” as he began listing his accomplishments. This is one of the reasons Perry is so likable: He doesn’t appear to take himself too seriously. He, in contrast to Obama, is not The Great I Am.

His speech was full of humor, substance and energy. Perry has been on the comeback trail now for two years and he’s making progress. His demeanor and energy level is in marked contrast to that of the disastrous 2012 presidential campaign.

I have no way of knowing if he’s a terror to his staff or if he kicks the family dog, but you certainly can’t tell it from his personal appearances. If it wasn’t for his squishiness on illegals, I’d almost be ready to vote for Perry today.

I can’t say that for former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

Politically Huckabee is simply George Bush who can tell a joke. There are many things I admire about Huckabee: His faith, his conservative social values and his sense of humor in particular. But as president he would be spending at least as much as Bush and I see no indication that he’s ever seriously considered putting Uncle Sam on a diet.

And speaking of diets, Huckabee’s is evidently not going too well. In stark contrast to his former fit self, now if the occasion arose Huckabee could fill in quite nicely as Chris Christie’s body double.

Huckabee’s speech began on a discordant note. He was given the same 10 minutes as Rick Perry, but he wasted some of the time complaining about only getting 10 minutes. In contrast to Perry’s upbeat and dynamic address, Huckabee came off as slightly petulant.

His speech was structured around a series of “I knows” that included, “I know the IRS is a criminal organization. I know that life begins at conception. I know there’s a God and this nation would not exist if He had not been the midwife of its birth.”

He even obliquely addressed homosexual marriage when he quoted Mrs. Billy Graham who said, “If God does not bring fiery judgment on America, God will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.”

Huckabee concluded with a final “I know” that brought back memories of his rocky beginning when he said, “I know my time is up and I must go.”

Diet jokes aside, he simply wasn’t a heavyweight on Day Two and if Huckabee is indeed running for president in 2016 this speech didn’t help his case.

Sen. Rand Paul (R–KY) was the other major league presidential candidate speech of the day. He had double the time allotted to Perry, yet I don’t think his speech had the same impact. They are two entirely different personalities. Paul comes off as somewhat remote and clinical when he speaks. He certainly says the right things and delivers a polished speech, but he doesn’t have the infectious enthusiasm of Rick Perry.

Personally I wonder how many of the reporters who pronounced Chris Christie as rehabilitated after the response to his speech the day before were around for Paul’s. The packed room was on its feet and cheering before the senator could say a word. Christie on the other hand had a much smaller crowd and response was polite until very late in his performance.

Paul’s speech was about liberty but it was also about sending a message to the Mitch McConnells, John McCains, Lindsey Grahams and other establishment RINOs. Paul asked the audience to “Imagine a time when our great country is governed by the Constitution. You may think I’m talking about electing Republicans, but I’m not. I’m talking about electing lovers of liberty.”

“It isn’t good enough to pick the lesser of two equals,” Paul explained. “We must elect men and women of principle and conviction and action who will lead us back to greatness. There is a great and tumultuous battle underway not for the Republican Party but for the entire country.

Then in a challenge to elected leaders and party supporters alike, Paul asked, “The question is will we be bold and proclaim our message with passion or will we be sunshine patriots retreating when we come under fire?”

Paul then focused on the NSA, data mining and the entire security mindset of the government, which he believes is dangerous. He referenced the Sons of Liberty from the Revolution who stood up to King George and predicted, “The Sons of Liberty would today call out to the president. ‘We will not submit. We will not trade our liberty for security. Not now. Not ever.’”

Getting down to cases with an audience that skewed toward youth and tech savvy, Paul explained, “If you have a cell phone, you are under surveillance. I believe what you do on your cell phone is none of their damn business.”

His other examples of government overreach in the name of security included detention without a trial, individual warrants applied to a class of people, credit card data collection, cell phone metadata and other violations of the 4th Amendment.

The senator stated flatly “Government unrestrained by law becomes nothing short of tyranny.” Then he used Daniel Webster to show the fight for liberty has been an ongoing struggle that must be continued today. “Daniel Webster anticipated our modern day saviors who wish to save us from too much freedom. He wrote: ‘Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It’s hardly too strong to say the Con was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions.’”

Paul wasn’t giving so much a speech, as he was Peter the Hermit asking the young people to join in a crusade. He has passionate ideas and beliefs, but Paul’s delivery is simply not as winning as that of Perry. One can be serious without being sepulchral.

It will be very interesting to follow the arc of both campaigns as I see Perry being a bigger threat to Paul than the other Texan, Ted Cruz.

Ben Carson at CPAC: We Must Hold Their Feet to the Fire

dr carson cpacJust a short three weeks ago few Americans had heard the name Ben Carson. Those who did generally knew of him in the role of skilled pediatric neurosurgeon and head of Johns Hopkins Pediatric Neurosurgery Department.

But following Dr. Carson’s stirring speech at the National Prayer Breakfast in February, millions of Americans now recognize him. A brilliant man who speaks without a teleprompter and few notes, Dr Carson is seen as a refreshing voice of common sense to many across the country. This weekend Dr. Carson was a featured speaker at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). While there may have been disputes about other invitees to the conference (i.e. Trump over Christie) there is no doubt that Carson was a huge draw as he spoke to the packed crowd.

Today many ask if a man could rise out of relative obscurity to lead the country? The organization and fundraising history  has been key to the ability of a candidate to raise the money needed to run an effective campaign. Would Dr. Carson be interested in such a challenge? Could he become so organized, as to win? There are many unknowns. Still, to many Americans, from coast to coast, Benjamin Carson speaks with a clear voice and proposes sensible solutions to many of our country’s problems including both our education crisis and national debt.

Watch the video of Dr. Carson and share it with your friends. If you want to watch the short Q & A following you can see it at the C-SPAN link: Benjamin Carson (he begins at 21 minutes and the Q & A at 45 minutes).

Apologize For What?

rigerousintuition2.ca

“Apologize for what?”

These three words have inspired and motivated millions of patriotic Americans. They have become a calling card to Conservatives everywhere who are sick and tired of out of control liberalism destroying this great country. On the anniversary of Andrew Breitbart’s death I’m sure he is looking down on us from that special reserved spot in heaven where the heroes lay and is smiling. In the post Andrew Breitbart Conservative era, his legacy lives on and his influence continues to grow.

From Twitter to Facebook and everything in-between, Andrew is alive and well in spirit. His death to most Conservatives, including myself is one you will always remember and not soon forget. Like a great fallen warrior his disciples have picked up where he has left off. Their very simple and loyal battle cry is, “I Am Breitbart.”

Andrew Breitbart was someone who was comfortable swimming in the belly of the beast and always relished the hatred and vitriol that he received from the left. He wore it like a badge of honor; never backing down or shying away. Andrew said things out loud that most of us would only think and that is what made him so effective yet controversial. He was the type of guy who would take ten to the chin just to deliver the one knockout punch.

Breitbart was unapologetic and his “apologize for what?” has posthumously become his trademark. He never let the left get away with anything which is why he was so demonized by them. His undercover investigative work was a major contributing factor to exposing the radical group ACORN. His work is the reason they were forced to change their name and are now thankfully defunded by Congress.

When the liberal media started to run stories about how the Tea Party was racist he called them out on it. Andrew knew that playing the race card was a Saul Alinsky tactic used by the left whenever they were losing the argument. Brilliantly, he offered a 100,000 dollar grant payable to the United Negro College Fund if they could find even one shred of evidence of racism at Tea Party rallies. Needless to say, the UNCF is still 100,000 dollars poorer.

His untimely death has always struck me as a little peculiar. Although I do not subscribe to conspiracy theories I do find the timing of his death remarkably odd. At the 2012 CPAC event, Andrew spoke about releasing “something big” on March 1st that apparently was going to be very damaging to Barack Obama. He spoke passionately about finally “vetting” Barack Obama and doing the job the liberal media has not done and refuses to do. Then coincidentally, the day he was to release this damaging information he allegedly dies of a heart attack?

More importantly, the media was very quick to point out that Andrew had a history of heart problems. The Los Angeles Police Department’s full investigation into Andrew’s death did not find any foul play and the Coroner’s Office performed an autopsy and full toxicology report which also turned up nothing.

Andrew Breitbart may be gone but his legacy still lives on. Like in war, when one soldier goes down the next soldier picks up the fallen soldier’s weapon and keeps on firing. Let’s just hope our aim is as good as his was. In this ideological war we find ourselves in we must master the strategies and tactics that Andrew perfected.

The silent majority in this country can no longer afford to be silent, or silenced. We can no longer be made to feel guilty or ashamed for our beliefs. We must be forceful in our convictions and be unapologetic for having them. This war is not about left versus right, it is about right versus wrong. This is about two very different visions for America. It is one of freedom and opportunity or slavery and bondage. As another great patriot Ronald Reagan once said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not passed down through the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed down to our children and their children to do the same.”

Andrew knew this all too well and he lived his life on the frontlines of this battle. So the next time a liberal asks you to apologize for your beliefs, you tell them “apologize for what”?

Suggested by the author:
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ACU announces featured young Conservative leaders at 40th Annual CPAC

CPAC 2013WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Conservative Union (ACU) today announced five up-and-coming leaders of the conservative movement as confirmed participants on a forward-looking panel to be featured during the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference: Alex Smith, National Co-Chairman of the College Republican National Committee; Francesca Chambers, Editor of Red Alert Politics; Kristan Hawkins, President of Students for Life; and Jeff Frazee, Executive Director of Young Americans for Liberty. The Future of the Movement: Winning with Generations X & Y, moderated by Alexander McCobin, President of Students For Liberty, will be one of many unique panels offered during CPAC 2013, America’s largest gathering of conservative leaders and activists.

“This year, on our 40th anniversary, we are placing a renewed focus on engaging our country’s youth and empowering this next generation of shining conservative stars,” said Al Cardenas, ACU Chairman. “The timeless values and principles that form our foundation have steered us in the right direction for countless years, and I firmly believe they stand true today. Each year thousands of young conservatives attend CPAC and this year in particular we want to ensure they have the tools they need to help combat the liberal agenda.”

The CPAC 2013 theme, America’s Future: The Next Generation of Conservatives, reflects a bright outlook for growth and achievement. With a steadfast focus on New Challenges, Timeless Principles, CPAC 2013 will delve into the delicate balance between continuing to honor our core principles of decades past and establishing a purposeful path to success for generations to come.

CPAC will be held March 14-16, 2013 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, offering three days of blockbuster speeches, policy discussions and networking opportunities – all celebrating the shared principles of smaller government, a strong national defense and traditional American values. For additional information, visit our website at conservative.org/cpac2013, on Facebook at facebook.com/CPACNews, or on Twitter at @cpacnews and #CPAC2013. Media registration (including bloggers) is now open. For those who plan to cover the event, please request credentials at cpac2013media.eventbrite.com. The CPAC 2013 schedule and list of confirmed speakers will be announced in the coming weeks.

Previously announced confirmed featured speakers include: former U.S. Representative Artur Davis, former Puerto Rican Governor Luis Fortuño, U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, U.S. Senator Mike Lee, U.S. Senator Rand Paul, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, U.S. Representative Paul Ryan, former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, U.S. Senator Pat Toomey, former U.S. Representative Allen West, and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

My Life-Altering Experience at CPAC

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.

Mitt Romney Makes Surprise Stop at CPAC Following Debate Trouncing of Obama

Michelle Ray, Kyle Becker and EyeDesert are covering CPAC for Conservative Daily News. Check back with CDN for more CPAC coverage!

Mitt Romney made a surprise stop at CPAC Colorado, fresh off of his trouncing of Obama at the Denver debates. Flanked by four of his sons, Mitt extolled the virtues of the free enterprise system and reiterated that “trickle down government” never works.

Instead, Mitt Romney laid out a vision of the country’s future where wealth and jobs were generated by freedom. It was a theme reinforced by the rousing stemwinder given by Marco Rubio, who had spoken moments earlier.

Far from deviating from specifics, both Rubio and Romney explained the real world consequences of an economy dominated by government. Both explained with illustrative examples that small businesses need transparency, freedom, and a stable regulatory regime in order to plan for the future and generate jobs.

Obama showed weakness in the Denver debate explaining his economic plans for the next four years and while defending an indefensible record. The president oftentimes complained about problems that he had every opportunity to fix the first two years of his presidency, such as fixing corporate loopholes and lowering corporate taxes. America has the highest corporate taxes in the developed world; nearly twice the OECD average.

But far from extolling the virtues of corporatism, Mitt Romney and Marco Rubio have taken positions that advance freedom and not big corporate interests. Rubio explained clearly how big government leads to corruption, and that America has been exceptional in world history because it has not been dominated by a select few. Instead, competition allows those who are poor and determined to advance with their dreams. Mitt Romney, for his part, criticized the Federal Reserve for temporarily propping up the economy.

These are far from the talking points of corporatists and status quo moderates. Of course, libertarians may believe that meaningful change advancing the cause of liberty cannot come soon enough. But the Republican leadership is changing the conversation in this country with a meaningful and obviously sincere endorsement of freedom. And that is the first step towards changing the nation’s politics.

Video H/T Revealing Politics

Live Together or Die Alone

Amid the myriad of CPAC 2012 posts currently filling the blogosphere, I would like to offer my own reflections on the event, and the powerful lesson of which I was reminded. It is rare for me to speak personally in my political writings. I am much more comfortable with the objective distance of facts and principles and analysis than I am with sharing feelings. However, this lesson is so profoundly important to me, and to the cause of freedom, that I am compelled to speak on the subject despite my reservations.

Last weekend was a whirlwind of improbable events. In a 61-hour period I spent nearly a full day on the road and slept less than four hours. It was a trial of endurance, and I hope I met that trial well (though I imagine I probably didn’t!). Fortunately I didn’t undertake it alone; I had a wonderful companion. While at CPAC, I received word that my sister’s husband, whom I love like a brother, was badly injured, and then later found out that I received the message in error, and that he was perfectly fine. Events also tested the strength of the bond between myself and my closest and dearest friend. I am happy to report that bond is stronger than ever.

I also met some of my good friends and comrades-in-arms, many of them for the first time. It’s strange that people can mean so much to us, before we’ve even seen them in person. It is my lingering regret that I didn’t have sufficient time to spend with all of them, or to effectively communicate my admiration of them. I am profoundly lucky to stand in the company of giants, some of whom were present and some who were not and were missed.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my family, without whom I would never have become the staunch advocate of individual liberty that I am. My principles are part of my pedigree. Their unwavering support has buffered me through difficult times.

I only saw one speech on Saturday- Daniel Hannan’s speech (VIDEO). Among the many things I took away from it, was the profound isolation he and other British patriots experience. Conservative principles, patriotism, and love of country are frequently scorned by the liberal majority there. Mr. Hannan expressed his happiness that we are not so unfortunate in the United States.

He’s right. We are much more fortunate- we have each other. Our greatest strength, and the thing which our opposition works so tirelessly to destroy, are our bonds of comradeship, friendship, and love. The greatest evil of our enemy is his desire to tear us apart and render us alone and helpless, leaving a selfish and all-powerful government as our only recourse.

Milton Friedman once told a young liberal college student, who suggested a 100% inheritance tax rather than an income tax, that we aren’t an individual society, we are a family society, and taxing inheritance would eliminate any reason to accumulate wealth. He was correct. We libertarians champion individual rights and dignity, and the individual’s freedom to associate and pursue prosperity and happiness. But these liberties are little comfort if we have no one with whom to share them.

It’s difficult for me to admit, but I have, at times in my life, felt alone and disconnected from my friends and family. I have felt hopelessly outnumbered and powerless. Fortunately, I had good people to remind me that I was neither alone nor unloved.

The bonds of loyalty and trust and love motivate us. They give our lives, and our cause, purpose. They define who we are and why we work so tirelessly. We have nothing but each other. That is the root of the ‘small-government and big-citizen’ cause: Together, we are vastly superior to any Leviathan; Divided, we are fragile and subservient. Either we can care for, provide for, and protect one another, or we can have nobody but government to do these things for us, and do them capriciously and badly.

Our relationships are our power and our conscience. Together we live, alone we die.

Mitchell & Ray 2/16 – Madison Rising and CPAC Recap

When: Thursday, February 16th, 10pm Eastern/7pm Pacific

Where:Streaming Internet Radio

What: Join independent political commentators Rich Mitchell and Michelle Ray as they discuss issues impacting Americans.

Tonight: Madison Rising ( http://www.madisonrising.com/) front man Dave Bray and CPAC a la @GaltsGirl

Show recording:

Listen to internet radio with CDNews Radio on Blog Talk Radio

Mitchell & Ray 2/16 – Madison Rising and CPAC Recap

When: Thursday, February 16th, 10pm Eastern/7pm Pacific

Where:Streaming Internet Radio

What: Join independent political commentators Rich Mitchell and Michelle Ray as they discuss issues impacting Americans.

Tonight: Madison Rising ( http://www.madisonrising.com/) front man Dave Bray and CPAC a la @GaltsGirl

Show recording:

Listen to internet radio with CDNews Radio on Blog Talk Radio

Judging Presidential Timber at CPAC

Doug DeMark Photography

In a truly bold move the Gingrich campaign is featuring Callista, The Other Woman 2.0

Friday’s session of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) was crucial for Republican presidential candidates, but it started with an audition for Vice President.

Our own Gov. Bob McDonnell proved once again if you want a VP candidate who is not teleprompter dependent and has not expressed strong feelings regarding the very poor, McDonnell is just your man.

Much of McDonnell’s speech obliquely stressed his Vice Presidential qualifications by running through his resume and focusing on his administration’s record.

McDonnell characterized the election as choice between Constitutionally limited government and a constantly expanding federal government. McDonnell concluded by saying his family came to the US from Ireland, and 100 years later he sits in the governor’s office holding the same position held by Thomas Jefferson.

Which, come to think of it, also applies to the office of Vice President.

Four years ago Mitt Romney withdrew from the race during his speech at the conference, this year he wanted to use a CPAC speech to revive it. After suffering three consecutive primary losses to Rick Santorum, Romney needed a strong rebound and straw poll victory before an audience filled with many people skeptical of his conservatism and commitment to the cause.

Romney described the Obama administration as the “last gasp of liberalism’s great failure.” And he urged the participants to “reaffirm what it means to be conservative.”

This involves a reverence for the founding document, “Conservatives aren’t just proud to cling to our guns and religion, we are also proud to cling to our Constitution,” Romney declared to enthusiastic applause.

One of the biggest applause lines of the afternoon came when he declared he’s been successful in business and he’s not ashamed to say so. Romney assured the audience, “I’ve served in government, but I didn’t inhale. I’m still a business guy.”

Santorum’s goal was to establish himself as the only viable alternative to Romney and consolidate the ABM (anyone but Mitt) vote. Santorum explained, “Conservatism did not fail our country. Conservatives failed conservatism.” Specifically by adopting the philosophy that winning is more important than staying true to your principles, a veiled reference to John McCain. “We’ve learned our lesson,” Santorum said. “We will no longer abandon and apologize for the principles that made this country great.”

Santorum addressed his chances by downplaying the influence of money, of which he has little, and stressing the power of contrasts. “We aren’t going to win with money. We’re going to win with contrasts, by making Barack Obama and his failed policies the issue in this race.”

For Newt Gingrich the presidential campaign is a four–letter word and that word is BOLD. Bold ideas. Bold plans. Bold solutions. Bold politics.

“When the conservative movement offers bold solutions, it wins decisively. I want to talk about bold solutions to get America working again,” Newt boldly announced.

Gingrich intends for the entire GOP congressional establishment to campaign with him this fall, which will require a large fleet of buses and a huge block of rooms on the cruise ship. And in the few days between the swearing in of the new Congress and Newt’s Bold presidential oath of office, he has a to–do list for Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader (he hopes) Mitch McConnell. Newt expects both houses to pass bills repealing Obamacare, Sarbanes–Oxley and Dodd–Frank.

So by signing these bills in the first 20 minutes of his new administration Newt can expunge 40 percent of the late Obama administration. Then Gingrich can really get to work with Bold executive orders: approve the Keystone pipeline, move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, reinstate the Mexico City policy banning the expenditure of tax dollars for abortions in other countries and break ground on the moon colony.

Then he plans to pause for lunch.

Gingrich’s speech also included a larger role for Callista, the new wife, who introduced him to a tepid audience response. This probably marks the first time in campaign history The Other Woman 2.0 has been brought out of hiding and used in a prominent role, which really does qualify as Bold.

The result of Saturday’s straw poll was good for two of the three candidates. Romney won with 38 percent of the vote, followed by Santorum at 31 percent. Gingrich was a very poor third, barely beating Ron Paul — who did not attend the conference — 15 percent to 12 percent.

The conclusion is Romney can speak “conservative;” and head–to–head in a setting where ad spending and organization does not matter; Santorum is a viable ABM alternative.

Unfortunately for Santorum those conditions don’t apply in the vast majority of remaining primaries.

Who Is Really Behind The “Occupy” Movement? Andrew Breitbart Wants To Know.

A trailer for a very promising movie was released last week.  While some would call it a documentary, Andrew Breitbart calls it a “war film”.  In his latest project, “Occupy Unmasked”, Breitbart and a talented team dig deep to find out just who is behind the Occupy movement.  He promises to help expose the “puppet masters” who are pulling the strings, along with the help of none other than former Leftists, who have been “kicked out of the club”.  If this film delivers on its promise, we could all stand to benefit from knowing who these players are and what game they’ve tried to catch us up in.

Who Is Really Behind The "Occupy" Movement? Andrew Breitbart Wants To Know.

A trailer for a very promising movie was released last week.  While some would call it a documentary, Andrew Breitbart calls it a “war film”.  In his latest project, “Occupy Unmasked”, Breitbart and a talented team dig deep to find out just who is behind the Occupy movement.  He promises to help expose the “puppet masters” who are pulling the strings, along with the help of none other than former Leftists, who have been “kicked out of the club”.  If this film delivers on its promise, we could all stand to benefit from knowing who these players are and what game they’ve tried to catch us up in.

Huckabee to Obama: You Have United the Republican Party

Friday at CPAC began with a kickoff address by former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. Those of you that felt Huckabee was looking a bit gaunt after his 110–pound weight loss can stop worrying. This year’s model is significantly larger than last year’s, although it does not approach the 300 plus pounds he reached at his peak.

Huckabee initially focused on the Obama administration’s recent decision to force Catholic hospitals to provide contraception and abortion services. “I want to say a great big thank you to President Obama. You have done more than any other person in the Republican field to unite this party. Thank you for doing what none of us has done.”

He went on to say that Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius is his nominee for person of the year. “John F. Kennedy once said that we are all Berliners. Thanks to President Obama, today we are all Catholics.”

Huckabee echoed Thursday’s speakers that characterized the decision not as a question of providing medical services, but as a direct violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution, explaining that when we devalue a life that is unborn, we ultimately devalue a life that is born.

Republicans policies also came in for criticism. Huckabee reminded the packed auditorium that he was one of the few that opposed the TARP bailout in the closing days of the Bush administration. His advice to Republicans was to apologize to America for creating the idea that it’s okay to bail companies out of the consequences of their own bad decisions. “Too big to fail also contains the mindset that some are too small to matter,” he explained.

Huckabee concluded by saying that although he had not endorsed any candidate in this year’s Republican race, voters can be assured that whoever wins the nomination will be more conservative than Obama and deserves their vote in November.

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If you want a mobile Vice Presidential candidate who is not teleprompter dependent and has not expressed strong feelings regarding the very poor, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell is just your man.

McDonnell startled the audience and the some of the CPAC technical staff when he began walking to and fro across the stage during his Friday morning address. Much of McDonnell’s speech obliquely stressed his Vice Presidential qualifications by running through his resume and focusing on the record of his administration.

A record that includes overcoming the deficit left by outgoing Democrat Gov. and current US Senate candidate Tim Kaine, an unemployment rate two points below the national average and a return to the spending levels of 2007,

McDonnell characterized the Presidential election as a battle to preserve the American Dream. The choice between a vision of Constitutionally limited government and a constantly expanding federal government.

“Today we have a surplus of rhetoric and a deficit of results in the United States,” McDonnell stressed.

His solution is ROC: Results Oriented Conservatives.

In contrast to much of the discussion of illegal immigration, McDonnell reminded that his family came to the US from Ireland. And now, 100 years later, he sits in the governor’s office holding the same position held by Thomas Jefferson.

Which, come to think of it, also applies to the office of Vice President.

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Bookended by sweater vests, Rick Santorum and most of his family followed Bob McDonnell on the CPAC stage. The former Pennsylvania senator elected to stay behind the podium for his speech, which was sound planning. If the entire Santorum family had followed him around the stage it would have looked like the great suburban migration West of the 50’s.

Santorum declared, “Conservatism did not fail our country. Conservatives failed conservatism.” Specifically by adopting the philosophy that winning is more important than staying true to your principles. But that is in the past, for the future Santorum said, “We’ve learned our lesson. We will no longer abandon and apologize for the principles that made this country great.”

Santorum directly addressed the race for the GOP nomination by downplaying the affect of money, of which he has little, and stressing the power of contrasts with Obama. “We aren’t going to win with money. We’re going to win with contrasts, by making Barack Obama and his failed policies the issue in this race.”

Naturally, Santorum believes selecting former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney over him will throw away this advantage. He explained to the audience that Mitt Romney is on the wrong side of Obamacare, carbon cap & trade and Wall Street bailouts. Therefore, with Romney as the nominee the GOP throws away its most powerful issues.

Santorum continued his embrace of the TEA party, although with the family on stage, too it was more of a group hug. “The TEA party is not the wings of the Republican Party, we are the Republican Party.”

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Four years ago Mitt Romney ended his campaign during a speech at the CPAC conference, this year he wants to use a CPAC speech to revive it. After suffering three consecutive primary losses to Rick Santorum, Romney could use a strong rebound speech and potential straw poll victory before an audience filled with many people who are skeptical of his conservatism and commitment to the cause.

Romney described the Obama administration as “last gasp of liberalism’s great failure.” And he urged the participants to “reaffirm what it means to be conservative.”

The bedrock part of that belief involves a reverence for the founding document, “Conservatives aren’t just proud to cling to our guns and religion, we are also proud to cling to our Constitution,” Romney declared to enthusiastic applause.

He also addressed some of the criticisms leveled at him by Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich. One of the biggest applause lines of the afternoon came when he said he’s been successful in business and he’s not ashamed to say so.

Romney visited his time as Massachusetts governor reminding listeners that he balanced the budget, vetoed 800 bills, cut taxes and he supported the rights of Catholic organizations to arrange adoptions that supported their religious beliefs without interference from state government. He then assured the audience, “I’ve served in government, but I didn’t inhale. I’m still a business guy.”

Romney also assured the audience that his presidency will be pro–life from “Day One.”

During his introduction of Romney, American Conservative Union Chairman Al Cardenas suggested the audience apply his family’s test to each of the presidential candidates before making their decision: Does he share your values, is he competent to lead the greatest nation on earth and is he capable of beating Barack Obama?

It’s a test Mitt Romney hopes this speech will help him pass.

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For Newt Gingrich the presidential campaign is a four–letter word and that word is BOLD. Bold ideas. Bold plans. Bold solutions. Bold politics. And did I say bold?

Newt has plans, too and they are Bold.

“When the conservative movement offers bold solutions, it wins decisively. I want to talk about bold solutions to get America working again.”

He intends for the entire GOP congressional establishment to campaign with him this fall, which will require a large bus and a huge block of rooms on the cruise ship. And in the days between the swearing in of the new Congress and Newt’s Bold presidential oath of office, he has a to–do list for John Boehner and Mitch McConnell. Newt expects both houses to pass bills repealing Obamacare, Sarbanes–Oxley and Dodd–Frank.

So in the first twenty minutes of his new administration he can expunge 40 percent of the late Obama administration. Then Gingrich can really get to work with Bold executive orders: approve the Keystone pipeline, move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and reinstate the Mexico City policy banning the expenditure of tax dollars for abortions in other countries.

Then he plans to break for lunch.

Gingrich has special scorn for the shadowy “Republican establishment” that is doing its best to undermine his campaign. He explained, “All of you have seen the Wall Street and Republican establishment pile on me, because this campaign is a mortal threat. We intend to change Washington, not accommodate it.”

The former Speaker then used the fringe candidate’s favorite excuse for a failure to build a complete campaign: “We don’t have the money, but we do have a plan.” And when the fall campaign begins it will feature “the paycheck president versus a food stamp president.”

Evidently the plan also includes a larger role for Callista. In contrast to every other presidential candidate at the conference, Newt had Callista make his introduction, which may be his idea for a Bold introduction, filled with Bold anecdotes and Boldly different from all other introductions. But after watching it, note to Newt: don’t use Callista to warm up the crowd.

It’s not Bold — it’s boring.

Rubio at CPAC: Obama’s Contraception Policy is a Constitutional Issue

The 39th annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) conference kicked off today with a prayer long enough to be listed on the program. Which is an important consideration in a conference this large. Some 6,000 conservative activists are gathered today, Friday and Saturday in Washington, DC to hear conservative speakers and attend workshops designed to prepare them for the coming election.

The agenda is so packed one must ruthlessly prune the less interesting sessions to concentrate on the more valuable, since every session has competition from other speakers and trainers.

Do I listen to Speaker of the House John Boehner (R–OH) bring the house down with a barn–burner of a speech? Or do I suffer crippling depression during a session about the massive debt that is the current and future legacy of the Obama administration?

Decisions, decisions.

Today’s speakers include Boehner, Sen. Jim DeMint (R–SC), Sen. Marco Rubio (R–FL), Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R–KY) and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R–MN).

DeMint began with a spirited defense of playing to win. Compromise, according to the senator, is fine when both parties have shared goals; as in a marriage. But compromise does not work when the two parties have opposing goals.

Democrats want to spend regardless of how much it adds to the debt. Conservatives want to cut spending. Any compromise you make with spenders always involves more spending. It’s like an alcoholic compromising with his wife by agreeing to drink Ancient Age instead of Maker’s Mark. He’s still passed out on the sofa at the end of the evening.

DeMint contends that with the current makeup of Congress, Republican conservatives have no shared goals with Democrats.
His solution is more conservatives in Congress, but particularly in the Senate, which is currently a mortuary for conservative legislation.

So far no sighting of the herd of Occupy parasites that boasted about occupying CPAC, just a number of DC police cars. But the day is young. Next up is Sen. Rubio, candidate of the future.

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Sen. Marco Rubio was introduced as a future resident at 1600 Pennsylvania and they may have a point. He gave a good speech that was summed up in his statement, “The greatest thing we can do for the world is be America.”

Evidently, Rubio wants to start this by producing a conservative government where people are comfortable cleaning out their garages and making enough room to start a new business, rather than using it to store a stockpile of bottled water and freeze–dried food for the apocalypse.

Rubio’s conservatism includes tax reform, sensible regulations and an emphasis on the Constitution of the US rather than that of South Africa. He stressed that the current controversy over Obama’s unprecedented order that forces Catholic institutions to provide birth control and abortions is not a social issue.

And I agree. Making it a social issue makes it “divisive” and part of the “abortion controversy,” that makes it intractable and beyond solving. Rubio points out the obvious and demonstrates the unprecedented order is a Constitutional issue and imminently solvable, if you follow the plain language of the Constitution.

Rubio also pointed out that any candidate who is in favor of leaving Medicare alone, is a candidate who is in favor of bankrupting Medicare.

Rubio’s introduction stressed his personal life and how he lives family values, so it is probably for the best that Newt Gingrich speaks on Friday.

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Gov. Rick Perry (R–TX) was scheduled for Thursday afternoon, but I was planning to miss his speech. What could he possibly say that was relevant?

I made a mistake with the Gingrich endorsement. I knew he had two wives but couldn’t remember the third? Oops.
But when I wandered into the media center there had been a schedule change and Perry was onstage. In retrospect it was instructive.

Rick Perry is actually a more dynamic speaker than Marco Rubio. He seems bigger on stage when he’s by himself and not surrounded by the competition. Instead of looking like the guest of honor for a firing squad, Perry is obviously large and in charge.

In a set–piece speech he is very good. The governor is relaxed, connects with his audience and doesn’t step on his applause lines. His speech was also more Evangelical than Rubio’s.

I don’t recall Perry setting any records for intentional humor on the campaign trail — although his accidental humor will live forever on YouTube —here Perry was funny.

One of his best referred to the Clint Eastwood “halftime in America” commercial. Perry felt that if it’s half time in America, he’s afraid of what’s going to happen if we don’t change coaches.

Too bad the sound track was the whistle of his Presidential train leaving the station….

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