Best of CPAC 2012

CPAC time again, and this year, this conference is more important than ever.  Will we unify as a movement, or fracture even further?  The speeches and attendants at CPAC will begin to give us answers.

I will try to add future videos of speeches as they become available.

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida did nothing to alter his rockstar status in the conservative movement. In a funny and politically pointed speech, Rubio went after liberalism and its key purveyor, Mr. Obama.  If he hasn’t elevated himself to the pole position for Vice President (assuming he has changed his mind and would actually consider it), he has at least placed himself in good position for the next go around…whether that is 2016 or 2020.

Strong speech by Gov. Mike Huckabee, and I wonder if he would have been a strong candidate this time around.

Gov. Rick Perry had a pretty mediocre speech, in my humble opinion. He says he will be back…and I think he will. But this, by far, was his best quote in his speech.

Sen. Rand Paul once again eloquently talks about the coming debt crisis, and tells Republicans that they better accept that reality or might as well be Democrats.  An integral voice in the future of conservatism. And a much more pragmatic one than his father.

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Gov. Mitt Romney had a solid, but definitely unspectacular, speech.  But as Rush Limbaugh pointed out, the key quote that came out of this may be Romney describing himself as a ‘severe conservative‘, which is inane.  Not quite a foot in the mouth, but close.  He definitely did not close the deal.

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Speaker Newt Gingrich was clearly the best of the three Presidential candidates.  The crowd wanted red meat, and got it.  And more importantly, this was the ‘good’ Gingrich that so many mainstream conservatives love; a man devoutly professing conservatism while largely ignoring his competition.   Gingrich, as far as I can tell, never really mentioned any specifics regarding Romney or Santorum.  He focused on Obama, and that is when he is at his best.

Rep. Allen West is quickly becoming another up and comer, along with Rubio.  Another highlight of CPAC so far.

For pure entertainment, nothing beats Andrew Breitbart.  Yeah, I disagree with a lot of his rhetoric…but his damn funny.

Gov. Bobby Jindal has been somewhat off the radar since his disastrous State of the Union response in 2009, and following the Gulf oil spill.  But he has done wondrous things with business and education in Louisiana.  Jindal is another rising star in the Republican Party.

Gov. Sarah Palin was presented the keynote address, and did a good job pointing to what the conservative movement needs to focus on.