Free Markets, Free People
Well today’s a travel day and so I thought I’d jot down a few thoughts about the last two days before I hit the road.
A) I enjoyed it. Quite lively and quite a different experience. Apparently this was their largest attendance ever. Got to speak to a lot of people about a lot of subjects near and dear to my heart.
B) Great networking – met a great number of bloggers who I’ve read and admired over the years. Also met a number of media types which was cool as well.
C) The two people who literally packed the huge ballroom with thousands were Ron Paul, which came as no surprise, and Ann Coulter. Coulter was sharp and funny. She was asked afterwards during the Q&A who she favored in the 2012 race and she blurted out that the GOP needed to nominate Chris Christie or Romney would win it and the Republicans would lose. Frankly, that’s the scenario I see developing (Romney gets the nomination), but whether the GOP loses probably depends more on the economy’s state than whether it is Romney or not. Ron Paul won the straw poll which is essentially a throw-out and it’s the second place guy you look at. Romney took that with 23% and then it drops to about 6% apiece for all the other candidates (to include Newt Gingrich).
D) GOProud sort of crapped in their mess kit by doing a little name calling during the event. They killed a lot of good will they had earned up to that point. OTOH, those that boycotted were obviously not missed (see record attendance). Both GOProud and the boycotters need to grow up.
E) I wanted to say a public thank you to Tabitha Hale and Freedom Works for the outstanding job they did putting blogger’s row together. Probably about 50 or so bloggers there. Good libertarian contingent including Doug Mataconis from OTB who I finally got to meet. Anyway, taking care of bloggers is akin to herding cats but Tabitha was up to the job and things went very well there. It was a choice location with tables and power in a large room and a balcony a few steps away which overlooked the main floor of CPAC where bloggers could go out and listen to the speeches.
F) A good number of speakers and others came through blogger’s row and bloggers had an opportunity to interview and meet them. Yesterday former LTC and now Congressman Allen West came though and spent about 10 minutes with bloggers before he gave the keynote speech of CPAC. I like the guy (no Army prejudice or anything, heh). Here’s a link to the entire 10 minute interview if you’re interested (video).
Back to our regularly scheduled programming tomorrow.