Submitted by Chris Palko on Thu, 02/26/2009 - 17:26
Today is the first day of CPAC at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington DC. I attended today from roughly 9:30 to 1:30. Here are my observations:
- Most interesting development of the day. Both Paul Ryan and Steve Moore advocated restoring the gold standard. Before today, I didn't know of mainstream "movement" type conservatives who were advocating fixing the currency. I guess the influence of Ron Paul is growing.
- Michael Barone drew upon his extensive knowledge of the political realm to offer advice on what conservatives need to do to win again. One obvious focus was on the youth vote. Another idea was to exploit the tensions within the Obama coalition--a top-bottom coalition with varying goals and priorities. If a new Obama proposal to repeal tax deductions on charitable donations is passed, then it would adversely affect the affluent voters that gave Obama strong support.
- I didn't really care for Saul Anuzis' quip that there are two kinds of people, "Democrats and Americans." That approach is surely the road back to majority status. The rest of his talk was fine, but that tone will only appeal to the already converted.
- 27 year old Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock was very impressive. He already could artiiculate his beliefs better than many long time veterans. He also advocated for expanding conservative outreach to places we don't go, like black and Hispanic communities. He should have a bright future.
- Last speech I saw was Mike Pence, who got the crowd on its feet the most because he hit the applause lines very hard. There will be no backing down on Pence and the House Republican caucus's part. He said that "Republicans will be faithful and loyal in our opposition.
- I also had the pleasure of meeting Rob Willington, director of Rebuild the Party, in line at Chipotle. It is nice to meet people who you only see online.
The next two days will be busier, so I imagine there will be better things to report back.