I have been out of town for several days attending CPAC in Washington D.C. Last year I was able to do some live reporting from the computers in the lobby/bar of the Marriott -- but this year they installed some type of new password code system so that only registered guests could use them. I was staying two blocks down the street in a Bed & Breakfast that I have become fond of. So I was shut out of live reporting.
One of these days I am going to have to buy a laptop.
Anyway....let's get to the rundown.
The first speaker to start the show was South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint. DeMint is one of the strongest, and most Conservative political figures in America. If he had run for President, he would have won South Carolina in a blowout. He reminded audiences of our values and choices and took a few shots at the liberals and RINOs he works with on a daily basis.
Almost immediately after DeMint came Florida Senator Marco Rubio. Rubio really blew the doors off the place with a fantastic speech that left everyone wondering why we didn't have him as an option in the current primaries. He is so much better than Romney or Gingrich that it is ridiculous. At the end of CPAC, the straw poll revealed that Rubio was the runaway winner for the straw poll choice for Vice-President. For that possible selection...we will have to wait and see.
A little later the popular and powerful Conservative Michele Bachmann took the stage. She actually ridiculed some of the aspects of her recent campaign of running for President, like how the media made a big deal out of her misquoting the birthplace of John Wayne and the birthdate of Elvis Presley. "Because we all know that these are such crucial policy issues when running for President of the United States."
The crowd roared at that one.
I slipped out to grab some lunch and came back at the proper time to see my main man...Governor Rick Perry of Texas. I actually wore my "Perry for President" campaign button for the whole three days at CPAC and got quite a few comments about it. I actually handed out a few extra Perry buttons to other attendees who said they were Perry fans. My repeated answer to multiple questions about it was "Loyalty is important to me. I don't support these other candidates."
Imagine my dismay when I come back from lunch to the main ballroom and see not Rick Perry, but Speaker of the House John Boehner!! I am not a fan of Boehner and was upset with the switcheroo. I angrily tweeted.."What the hell is Boehner doing speaking? Where is Rick Perry?"
As it turns out, they had to make a sudden adjustment in the schedule. Boehner and others went on about 15 to 20 minutes early. I was upset when I thought that Rick Perry had been wiped from the schedule...but then later as I was walking around in the hallways talking to people I hear the simulcast TV sets saying ..."Governor Rick Perry!" I had to sprint back to the ballroom to see my Presidential pick. He was great...as he usually is. Funny. Charming.
It's a tragedy for me that he didn't practice for the debates.
I was checking out the exhibitors floor and all the merchandise booths later and missed the speech by Herman Cain. I've never cared for Cain, so I didn't care about seeing him speak. His career is pretty much ruined right now, so I felt anything he had to say was irrelevant. I'm actually pissed off at him for jeopardizing GOP chances in 2012. He shouldn't have been running for President when he was cheating on his wife for multiple years. That type of scandal is what loses elections. Besides, as a candidate, he pretty much sucked, anyway.
Funny thing though, I step outside and I see Cains campaign chairman Mark Block outside the hotel...smoking...(what else?). I snapped a photo of that.
I saw Lt. Col. Oliver North in the exhibitors hall being interviewed on TV. He later spoke to the crowd in the main ballroom.
The evening ended with the fancy schmancy Presidential Banquet with featured speaker Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. Or "Paul Rino" as I call him for his famous ability to compromise on everything. The dinner was great. Fancy food. Good wine.
The party hosts surprised me by having a Cuban band come in and rock the place. Some of these Conservatives were dancing! Imagine that. Not your boring old Republicans by any measure. Check out the video.
More updates on Day 2 coming tomorrow.