18 February 2010

CPAC 2010 Day 1 (UPDATED)

UPDATE 4:52p EST: Here's a good report by Ben Smith of Politico on Mitt's speech.

MATT UPDATE: 4:52p EST Before heading off to dinner and the Georgetown v. Syracuse basketball game with friends, we're finishing the day with Wayne LaPierre, NRA lobbyist extraordinaire.

LaPierre clearly knows how to argue guns. And although libs may claim he obfuscates the issues, certainly nobody better understands the unintended consequences of gun control. He is excellent, and worth every dollar he makes from the NRA.

As Jake mentioned, who could possibly make a surprise visit tomorrow that would surpass today's visits? Regardless, I'm looking forward to Tim Pawlenty and John Ashcroft tomorrow. I'll even admit some anticipation for Ron Paul, if only to snicker at his more outrageous proposals, and to hear a hundred "End the Fed!" shouts from the crowd. Those Paul people, they're crazy.

UPDATE 3:52p EST We're watching a video of John Boehner's greatest hits. The music? Kings of Leon. I can't imagine K of L are conservatives (or would like their music to be used by a Republican) but if so, good on them.

Matt and I just walked around the exhibition hall and ran into a person who looked like an overweight and short Michael Barone. He is Barone's doppleganger, right down to the signature glasses. The only reason we knew for sure it wasn't Barone is that we saw him last year.

Everybody is talking about Dick Cheney, Scott Brown, & Mitt Romney. Friday & Saturday have a lot of work to do to match today's performance.

I'm beginning to understand why so many writers tend to be overweight. There are all kinds of complementary drinks and snacks for media-types and they mostly consist of soda, chips, & cookies. The only thing that save me is that I have a year's worth of student living (& eating) between events.

UPDATE 2:27p EST I'm trying to update using my iPhone. Apologies in advance for any errors/typos (more than usual). Romney killed it today at CPAC. Matt and I were especially impressed with his command and narrative us of American history to link cnservative ideals to American Founders. The whole speech bears reading, that section in particular. At one point he called liberal democrats neo-monarchists for their desire to command and order more of American life. This was a particularly powerful historical allusion.

From a purely political calculation perspective: Linking with MA Senate winner Scott Brown is a good way to put Romeny squarely on the side of the Tea Party movement--no mean feat when you are the former governor of a liberal state.

UPDATE 11:51am EST: Rubio rocked, DeMint rocked, Jason Mattera drew applause, laughter, and offended the left and somehow, Dick Armey re-established himself in the center of the Tea Party and conservative movement. God Bless Texas.

Blogger registration opened 8 minutes ago. I guess that means it's time to get up and get ready. Last year I turned up at the site of CPAC 2009 the day before it began and the place was pretty dead. Yes, they broke attendance records, but like I told my dad yesterday (and my brother agreed), it was more about conservative commiseration than anything else.

We'd been beaten pretty badly and everybody just wanted to get together and trade stories and talk about how optimistic Ronald Reagan had always been and how he would have seen the light at the end of the tunnel.

CPAC 2010 is an entirely different atmosphere.

Yesterday when we arrived Matt saw Wayne Lapierre as we pulled up in our cab and the guy looked like he was spoiling for a fight. All the other CPAC 2010 attendees in the hotel were excited and pregnant with anticipation. Ditto every comment I've read in every blog and tweet and in all the email listservs.

What a difference a year makes.

Your first reading assignment is this Politico article, linked on Drudge. I'll be updating the blog throughout the day, but as I mentioned in my last post, the place to get the most up-to-the-minute information is on that Twitter. Click here for my stuff and here for Matt's. We'll attend every possible speaker and panel we can and post our quick reactions as fast as we can.

We wish you could be here, but since you aren't, we're glad to share our thoughts and impressions via the interweb.

If you have tips, questions, comments or suggestions, email me at lybberty@gmail.com.