I must admit - this is sensory overload here. Many speakers, many bloggers, many speeches, many politician visits. I have been remiss in posting status. I think that Twitter has taken the place of most of the "quick hits" posts that we may have been putting up in previous years.
A few observations:
- This is obviously the place to make your mark as a potential candidate in the future. We've seen a number of men (no ladies, I'm afraid) who will undoubtedly proceed towards a Presidential candidacy at some point in the future. Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Mike Pence (not 2012, most likely), and I wouldn't be surprised to see DeMint, Michelle Bachman, or several others show up on the ballot some time.
- One of the highlights of today's events (so far) was Rep. Newt Gingrich. Newt entered the room to the sounds of "Eye of the Tiger" and was met by a SRO crowd. Even the cheap seats up here in the balcony were packed.
- Newt stated that the subject of his talk would be "Principled Bipartisanship". That elicited groans from several of us, anticipating a discussion of how we could cooperate with the Dems on health care reform...and he did focus on that to some degree. However, Newt's strategy was for the GOP to insist on having equal representation and equal consideration of GOP ideas. He said that "bipartisan" would mean that WE also would be able to choose participants, and they would not have the luxury of being the only ones selecting.
- He referred to Obama's job creation program - "Obama has created at least 3 jobs: Bob McDonnell, Chris Christie, and Scott Brown
- Newt also cracked wise about abolishing the 9th Circuit. That's change I can believe in!
- At one point, he started a point with "Let me be clear"... After that phrase, there was a considerable amount of laughter. I don't know that Newt realized what he had said, and if he did, he missed the irony of using an oft-mocked Obamaism.
- Gingrich was another who predicted the defeat of Obama in 2012. He said "I think we will elect a new POTUS in 2012". The response to his statement was chants of "NEWT NEWT NEWT!" While Mr. Gingrich is superb at distilling ideas into terms that normal people will understand, I don't relish the idea of him as POTUS, particularly after wandering off the ranch with stunts such as his endorsement of Dede Scozzafava in NY-23.
- Newt's argument for "Principled Bipartisanship" deserves a more thorough analysis, and I will need to review the video for details.
- The more impressive talk came from the Hon. John Bolton, former UN Ambassador and Assistant AG. Bolton's presentation was largely a critique of Obama's (alleged) foreign policy.
- Bolton immediately captured the crowd by stating "(Obama) was not qualified to be president on his inauguration day, and 13 months later he is still not qualified". At that point, I feared that he would begin a birther-esque line of thought, but fortunately he was merely referring to Obama's lack of experience in foreign policy, and/or just about anything else.
- Bolton, like many speakers at this event, stated unequivocally that he believes Obama will be a one-term president. (We pray it will be so... ed.)
- He stated that Obama has a "naive fondness for negotiation for negotiation's sake" with respect to his continued insistence on negotiation with our enemies
- Bolton was particularly brutal about Obama's desire to reduce our nuclear arsenal. "This administration believes in arms control as if it's an element of theology"
Ann Coulter was the big headliner for mid-day. Her presentation was anticipated with a bit of concern by some bloggers who believe that Coulter is too divisive and should not be invited to CPAC. Personally, I like the confrontational style. After yesterday's controversy about gay conservatives, and from Coulter's unpopular and widely-condemned statements about homosexuals at the 2007 CPAC, many feared she'd fire off additional shots today. It didn't happen. Her talk was her normal acerbic "stand-up comedy" talk, but the real funny stuff came during the Q&A.
- Someone asked about libertarians and conservatives, and her response was "I wish the libertarians would stop babbling about legalization of pot". And related to Rep. Ron Paul and libertarians: "If Ron Paul is behind it and it has nothing to do with foreign policy, I’m for it." Surely that doesn't mean she's all for the return of the gold standard...
- In response to a question about whether she's ever dated a liberal, she responded "They weren't for long". HA!
- I think Coulter's philosophy is summarized by this statement that she made: "If you don't leave liberals in a sputtering rage, you're not doing it right". True dat.
It's almost time for Glenn Beck. Stay tuned for details.