It’s 1:00 here at CPAC, and time for a quick update. First, a couple quick observations…
- Conservatism trumps Republicanism
- There is a ground swell of support for Rick Santorum
- The air is thick with energy
- Young people are fully engaged
- CPAC and the Marriott need some organizational help
My initial walk through was great. I had the great pleasure of meeting Chris Plante. Chris was nice as could be, as were his staff and producer. I caught up to him just as his show wrapped and we talked for a few minutes. He let me trouble him for a quick picture, and I made his producer promise to always put me at the top of the call-in list.
As I stood near the Media Room, I watched Col. Oliver North do an interview with Griff Jenkins. The Colonel looked in a hurry so I didn’t bother him, but I did stop and shake hands with Jenkins, who was very nice.
Then, I gave some directions to Scott Rasmussen as he was looking for the Speaker Check In.
I talked with many fellow bloggers and media folks. There was a palpable feeling of excitement over Santorum’s surge. It’s as if we finally have someone to get behind and a weight has been lifted off our collective shoulders.
Nobody’s even talking about Newt except in terms of his stepping out of the race.
Nobody’s even talking about Romney, except in terms of Santorum beating him for the nomination.
I watched Michelle Bachmann give a 10 minute speech in the Main Ballroom. Her speech was entirely about Barack Obama’s foreign policy failures. It was good, but rather uninspired. I had hoped for more.
I watched Rep. Steve King talk for 10 minutes. WOW. He finished his talk with a suggestion that when the Republican President is signed in on the steps of the Capital next January, he do so with pen in hand, to make his first act the wholesale repeal of Obamacare.
He got a standing ovation.
I’m really struck by the sheer number of young people here. Young people supporting liberals is a myth. CPAC is CRAWLING with people who look between 15 and 22 or so. Dare I say a majority?
Oh – and check this out…I’ll bitch a little….
I pulled up to the Marriott Wardman Park at 10:20. Marco Rubio was slated to speak at 10:30, so I was psyched that I would be able to see at least part of his speech.
Marriott promptly squashed my hopes.
As I pulled in, I was told that parking was at the National Zoo, about a mile away. Okay, no big deal…
So I drive over to the Zoo and follow the signs for CPAC parking. When I pull up, I’m told $20 – cash only.
Crap. No cash.
So, I go back up the road, park illegally and jog (not a pretty sight) up into the Zoo to an ATM inside a Zoo snack bar. $20 in hand, I race back through the Zoo streets to the Parking lot, gather my things and hop on the shuttle.
The driver looks at me and says:
Crap. No cash. My dumba&* only took out $20 to pay for parking.
So I argue with the guy and he agrees to take me to the hotel if I promise to go inside, get money and come back and pay him. I tried to do just that, but when I went back outside, he was gone.
I’ve been planning on going off the grid anyway….maybe this is a sign…