The Republicans’ fading colours – The Spectator Magazine

Link to the original article:

http://www.spectator.co.uk/essays/all/7648068/web-exclusive-the-republicans-fading-colours.thtml

 

Web exclusive: The Republicans’ fading colours

11 February 2012

CPAC Review essay by White House 2012 writer David Cowan published on The Spectator magazine website

 

Growing up in the 1960s, my primary school in Cambridge had an outdoor roofless boy’s toilets, and we happily enjoyed urinating up the wall. It was a sign we were getting further up the school when one day we were able to urinate over the wall itself — much to the annoyance of people on the other side. This memory came to mind this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington DC over the weekend, the annual gathering of some ten thousand political activists. This year CPAC was a pissing contest to see who was the most conservative.

The three Republican frontrunners, Santorum, Romney and Gingrich, in that order, sought to reach the base and convince activists about their conservative qualities. The themes they all offered were: what’s wrong with the Obama administration; a shopping list of what conservative policies would work better; an appeal to American exceptionalism; and a return to the founding principles of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

The three candidates are looking for the right to fight an Obama administration seen as somewhat Carteresque, from failed election promises through to the ideological infighting. Obama, though personally liked (Ann Coulter joked he would make a nice neighbour, unless you’re Chinese, then he’d keep borrowing stuff), is seen as ineffective and evasive.

To reenergise America, the candidates laid claim to the mantle of Ronald Reagan, frequently invoking his name and sunny disposition. Yet herein lies the rub. Reagan defeated Carter with ideas for the economy and foreign policy, successfully combining a conservative vision and charm to appeal to swing voters. At CPAC 1974, Reagan gave his famous ‘bold colours, not pale pastels’ speech, asserting conservative principles. This weekend showed that some of the colours have long since faded.

Things were certainly off-colour last time I was here, back in 2009, as defeated activists sought to pick themselves up after Obama’s coronation. The biggest cheers then were for Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh, as they offered succour. Newt entered to his incongruous theme tune ‘Eye of the Tiger’, but instead of entering stage right he walked in through the crowd, parting them Moses-like, shaking hands and hugging supporters.

The danger three years on is, of course, an election that will see CPAC 2013 take place after a second Obama inauguration. Expect then a sinking sense of what might have been. For many American conservatives a Republican failure this year will exacerbate what they fear most: n irreversible dependency culture and Europeanisation. Daniel Hannan flew into DC to warn on just this point, expressing his amazement to rapt delegates that while Europe is driving off the cliff they can see America in their rear-view mirror, overtaking them.

Back in 2009 something else happened at CPAC. Sarah Palin was slated to speak, but failed to appear either in person or via a hastily announced satellite link. This was the signal that Sarah was taking the celebrity high road, rather than the political low road. This year, however, she did appear as closing speaker to offer the benediction — but not the one most people expected. She did not endorse Gingrich, as he himself alluded to in his own speech by quoting her husband Todd. She called for unity, but convoluted as ever, Palin said ‘whoever our nominee is we must work together to get him over the finishing line, and then next year we will have a true conservative in the Oval office’ — only to go on Fox news on Sunday afternoon to say she is still to be convinced Romney that is indeed a conservative.

Despite this, and despite the Santorum surge, Romney will see this conference as mission accomplished — reinforced by the CPAC Straw Poll narrowly backing his candidature. Out of the three candidates it looks seemed that Romney pissed the highest this weekend. And, while still divided, all the delegates would agree about who should be standing on the other side of the wall, on the receiving end.

CPAC’s Conservative Message

Despite Romney’s strawpoll win, the anti-establishment message of CPAC came through loud and clear from various speakers.  Alan West, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, and even at times the Presidential candidates: the only way we can truly be free is by reclaiming the role of the church and community from the Federal Government.

For several years now the conservative movement has allowed private charity to flirt with and even get in bed with the Federal Government under the understanding that private organizations can use federal dollars much more efficiently than government bureaucracies.  Then along came Barack Obama.  It makes me think of Star Wars and Darth Vader’s line “Pray I don’t alter the deal any further”.

The problem is that conservatives abandoned their principles.  Trusting a pro-family, pro-conservative President in George W. Bush, we signed on to faith based initiatives.  Perhaps we never expected a President who would leverage those relationships to gain control over Christianity and use Christian institutions to spread liberalism.  We never expected a President who in three short years would be to the point of forcing Christian institutions to provide abortion pills or suffer the consequences.

The Government cannot protect our sacred institutions.  The government is using our tax dollars to control our sacred institutions.

The problem is that only one candidate in this has talked about the sort of shrinking of government necessary to get the government out of the charity and faith business altogether.  While he has appeared impotent when pressed, Ron Paul is the only candidate who will actually say that the government doesn’t belong in the insurance business or the charity business.  Mitt Romney would bring us back to the George W. Bush days when faith based initiatives allowed faiths to still manage themselves.  Newt and Santorum would certainly respect religious freedom, but would also strengthen the ties between government and faith based organizations with the same deadly good intentions W had.

This is not an endorsement for Ron Paul, but it is an acknowledgement that when it comes to the responsibility of Christians and community, Paul is more in line with the 2010 freshmen, and older wise sages like Huckabee, who must rise to the top if conservatism and freedom of religion is to survive in our country.  Perhaps Newt, Mitt and Rick will be persuaded by Paul on this like they were on the Fed.

Romney Wins CPAC Straw Poll But Who Do You Think Made the Best Case?

Bookmark and Share  CPAC’s 39th annual conference concluded with a bang as keynote speaker Sarah Palin, fired up the forces with a speech that tore apart the Obama Administration with accurate characterizations of his actions, policies, and thinking, in a series of sharp and memorable one liners.  Her speech, which you can see here, did not only focus on the president though.  Palin offered some strong words of advice to Republicans and even sent a few warning shots over the bow of the Republican establishment as she reminded them why they were elected in 201o and indicated that in the future, we expect some new conservative faces being appointed to leadership position, not kept open the back benches.

But Palin also reminded the audience that beating the President is the most important first step that Americans must take in their attempt to take government back from the political class.  However, she did make the point that whoever we replace with him, must be a true conservative, one whose every instincts stem from the conservative ideology and our belief in limited government.

After Palin brought down the house, the climax of the event, the announcement of he CPAC Straw Poll results was made.  It was done in a presentation that broke down conservative opinions on a wide range of issues and dissected the demographics behind the opinions.  This year CPAC did something different.  They took both a national online poll of self described conservatives and their traditional straw poll of registered guest at the CPAC conference.

The national survey gave Mitt Romney the win in what was essentially a close race that stood at;

  1. Mitt Romney          – 27%
  2. Rick Santorum       – 25%
  3. Newt Gingrich        – 20%
  4. Ron Paul                   –  8%
  5. Others/Undecided – 20%

But the actual CPAC Straw Poll which gauged the opinion of the over three thousand registered CPAC voters in attendance at this year’s conference, painted a similar picture but in much bolder colors.  The candidates finished in the same order but by much different margins

  1. Mitt Romney          – 38%
  2. Rick Santorum       – 31%
  3. Newt Gingrich        – 15%
  4. Ron Paul                   – 12%
  5. Others/Undecided –   4%

It’s important to note the level of intensity that was demonstrated in these two polls.  The difference between the national poll and the straw poll is that the straw poll reflects the opinion of the activists within the conservative base.  They are the opinions of the people who work hard at shaping opinions and who are part of the get out the vote efforts that can put a candidate over the top in an election.  As for the national poll, while it still reflects conservative opinions, it it more representative of the less active conservative base, those who would not necessarily drop everything and rearrange their lives to go to Washington, D.C. to be inspired by names like Jay Sekulow, Daniel Hannan, and other names that many Americans are less familiar with.  In these polls it would seem that less dedicated or to be honest, the less radical conservatives in the country, give Mitt Romney a little more approval than they do to his rivals, but with 2% separating first and second place and 5% seperating third placce from second place, you can gather that most conservatives are pretty divided on who the nominee should be.

However, the Straw Poll of CPAC conference goers would seem to indicate that conservative activists are far less divided and while it is still close between first and second place, even there Romney receives a majority that beats Santrorum by one point more than he did in the national poll.

But I am not quite sure these polls really offer an accurate sentiment of conservative opinions this year.  Straw Polls are easily influenced by the creativity of each candidates campaign and there ability to get a ballot in the hands of conference goers. Romney has typically had a great straw poll organization at CPAC, hence several previous wins there.  Last year it was Ron Paul who won though.  This year, Ron Paul did not attend CPAC and did not have any effort that coordinated his straw poll operation.  Which accounts for his last place showing this year.

So although Romney won, I still can’t help but get a sense from the greater body of conservatives that the closeness of the race that reflected in the CPAC national online poll is more accurate and maybe even closer than that.

It was clear to me that at CPAC, Mitt Romney was among a significant number of conservatives who are still apprehensive about him and I suspect that there will be some future primaries and caucuses that prove that assessment to be true and that will even produce results that do not always find Romeny in  first place.

Only time tell.

But in the meantime, tell us this. Of the three candidates who attended CPAC this year, who made the best case for why they are the best conservative to lead us and did so most convincingly. Below you will find videos of their CPAC speeches. If you haven;t seen them yet, take a listen to them and then vote in our White House 2012 Poll:



Bookmark and Share

See Sarah Palin’s Entire CPAC Keynote Address: “You Gotta Hope Things Change”

FROM CPAC: Palin Closes Out CPAC Slamming Obama Economics: “His plan isn’t winning the future, it’s losing the country.” (See the video below this post)

Bookmark and Share Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin unloaded on President Barack Obama and the Washington D.C. establishment during an address that closed out the 2012 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

Before a jam-packed crowd, with hundreds more watching on monitors in the convention center hallways and overflow rooms, Palin attacked the Obama economic agenda from many angles.

She identified the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a key culprit in destruction of jobs in America. Instead of developing America’s own homegrown resources, the EPA has put the country in a position where it must rely upon dubious foreign sources, she said. And the EPA makes it difficult for businesses trying to expand although, Palin noted wryly, the EPA never seems to block the construction of new government buildings in Washington D.C.

“Instead of calling Washington D.C. a swamp, call it a wetland,” she said. That would be one way to slow the march of government, she suggested.

Palin also took aim at “crony capitalism,” which she said, was growing the size of government at the expense of average Americans.

“The politicians arrive as men and women (in Washington D.C.) and they become plutocrats. And they spread the wealth around to their pals.”

Palin also reminded audience members that CPAC was initiated by conservative activists who were out to remake the Republican Party. Reagan called for “bold colors, not pale pastels,” she said.

There is a certain paradox at work in the current political cycle, Palin said. “The conservative movement has never been stronger or brighter, yet the federal government has never cast a bigger shadow.”

The Tea Party has momentum because “the American people have woken up” to the dangers of big government, she said.

If the country continues on a path where policy makers attempt to tax and spend their way into prosperity, the future of America will look more like the old world rather than the new world.

“That’s the dream of the far Left, not the American dream,” she said.

Never before in American history has there ever been such a division between how the president views the “state of the union” and how average Americans view the “state of the union,” she said.

In history of our republic between how our own president sees Americans see state of union and Americans he’s elected to serve see state of the union, Palin told audience members.

Unlike President Obama, Republicans are looking to free markets and to long-standing constitutional principles, she said.

“His plan isn’t winning the future, it’s losing the country.”

Bookmark and Share

Video from TheRightScoop.com

CPAC and Sarah Palin mark a turn to unity

 

A vintage fiery performance: Palin told delegates we'll keep our guns, God and Constitution, and Obama can keep the change.

The most remarkable event of today’s CPAC was Sarah Palin endorsing unity. Instead of showing her support for any one candidate, she called for unity, saying that whoever the nominee is the GOP must defeat Obama. Whoever the nominee is conservatives must work together, she told an ecstatic audience, and the nation will have a true conservative in the White House.

The unity message, great!

It followed the announcement that Mitt Romney had narrowly won the CPAC Straw Poll, following his mission to the conference to prove his conservative credentials. It seems it may be mission accomplished. Certainly Romney will be feeling a lot better about his appeal to the conservative base after today.

The other remarkable performance came from the ever-popular Daniel Hannan, British Member for the European Parliament. Warning America not to go down the European road, he was amazed that while Europe is driving off the cliff they can see America in their rear-view mirror and overtaking them!

After his talk, I had a good conversation with him, as we walked through the hotel, including a detour through the kitchens! I asked him if he endorsed any candidates? He, just a little coyly, suggested it was difficult to choose, but stressed it was important for the party to unite behind a candidate and get Obama, who earlier in the day John Bolton called the “first post-American President”, out of the White House.

Daniel Hannan warns America not to follow Europe down a path and off a cliff

Hannan also urged me to write that the GOP must stop having so many debates, as it is only serving to divide the party. He also said Republicans need to focus on the budget, not all the side issues that divide conservatives. With that he headed for the airport, though many didn’t want him to leave and asked if he could be made an honorary American instead.

This has been an important few days for conservatives, and may finally signal the road to unity. Romney should start to pull firmly into the lead, and though Santorum and Gingrich will no doubt continue, they will see their numbers dwindle.

The New York Times carried a report ahead of Sarah Palin’s speech that she didn’t think a brokered RNC would be a problem. This is just a liberal wet dream. The reality is, Sarah Palin has signalled this important moment, and shown that there is less stomach for infighting.

I picked up my media credentials on Thursday at CPAC fearful of a divided party that would succeed only in rolling out the red carpet for President Obama. After three days, I happily left making my way through the handful of sorry-looking OWS protesters feeling that I can see November from here.

Newt Gingrich is Yesterday’s Man

 

Will the Dream Team be Benched?

Newt Gingrich was introduced at CPAC by Calista, who generously thanked the many kind Americans they have met on the campaign trail. When he came on stage to an excited crowd, it was clearly no 2009, when he had entered through the crowd to his signature “Eye of the Tiger.” Maybe it’s the effect of copyright denying him playing his tune, but it seemed to take Newt a while to get going.

His focus was on the economy, though if he’s going to present an economic plan to America he will have to find a better way than invoking the name of Reagan every two minutes. He recalled Reagan’s bold colors speech at CPAC, and recalled what he achieved, which liberals thought then was “unrealistic” but turned out so successful.

It was almost halfway through the 10 minute slot that he finally got the crowd going, when he sent Prime Minister Harper a message that Canada won’t need China in a Gingrich White House.

He joked that we can track Fedex parcels, but the government can’t track 11 million illegal immigrants. Newt offered his own innovative solution, to send 11 million parcels to immigrants and track them to find them.

Newt promised he intends to change Washington, not accommodate it, prompting this observer to ponder when he decided to stop accommodating DC, given his ultimate insider status. Really, his attacks on the Washington, Republican or political “establishment” rings hollow for this consummate DC schmoozer.

His schmoozing has led him to form his own “conservative dream team” to challenge his supposed bête noire establishment, and you can count how many failed presidential nominee candidates are in the line-up for yourself.

The speech in truth hit the two problems: the GOP will not win by trumpeting Reagan in favour of substance, and Gingrich will not convince many beyond his base that he is anything but an establishment man. In both cases, he simply comes across as yesterday’s man.

Who will bring us a bright tomorrow?

Mitt Flashes His Credentials with a Smile: See His CPAC Speech in its Entirety Here

Will Romney show his conservative rivals the door?

Bookmark and Share  A smiling Mitt Romney came to CPAC today with one thing on his mind, the need to prove his conservative credentials to the base of conservative activists. Telling the audience that he knew many of them came to conservatism via Hayek or Edmund Burke, Romney said his path to conservatism was paved by family, faith and his work.

Romney said he believes “we are poised for victory in November”, but beating Obama is only the first step to saving America, which has suffered from weak leadership and a bankrupt ideology. Obama has created so much unnecessary pain for Americans, he told the audience.

Romney reminded listeners that America is made exceptional by the people, before making the obligatory attack on Washington. He said Obama is the poster child for arrogant government.

It has always been clear that Romney’s kind of conservatism is fiscal, and he argued “if you are not fiscally conservative, you are bankrupt”. He told a cheering audience that he will finally get rid of the deficit, and “as the first step I will eliminate Obamacare.”

Referring to his competitors for the nomination, Romney said GOP nominees are not different in opposition to Obama or conservatism, but by experience and judgement. He also distinguished himself by saying “I have never worked a day in Washington.” He then joked “I served in government but didn’t inhale.” He said he wants to take his experience to Washington, ending his speech by declaring “I will come to Washington, I will change Washington, then I will go home to the family I love.”

After his speech, Romney joined the crowd, no doubt to judge just how much this crowd has embraced him as a conservative.

See Rick Santorum’s Entire CPAC 2012 Speech

Bookmark and Share  Rick Santorum, the newest person to once again  be a frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination, delivered a powerful speech at CPAC today that strongly argued that he is not only conservative alternative to Mitt Romney, but that he is the best alternative to President Obama.

Video from RightScoop.com

Bookmark and Share

Is Washington alive to the Sound of Santorum?

Santorum after his speech walks by WhiteHouse12, will he walk into the White House?

Rick Santorum appeared on stage with his family, introducing them he said they were not the von Trapp family and they weren’t about to sing. However as he set out on his speech to offer sweet music to conservative ears, he seemed to stumble a little, the speakers version of being out of tune.

But, he did get warmed up. He hit a number of high notes:

We must trust in “the conservative vision of bottom up” and show “how Obama policies have failed” America. This is what wins the race, Santorum crooned.

But he struck a bum note when he said we are not going to win this election with the candidate with the most money to beat up his opponent. Who could he possibly mean?

A sweeter note was sounded when he explained how liberals use sentimental ideas of stewardship to advance radical environmental policies.

Then onto a higher set of notes, when he reminded delegates that our rights come from a higher authority than the government. He was as clear as a bell when he chimed in that he is in this race because Obamacare is a game changer.

Rick Santorum was introduced as the only chance of winning in November as a fresh face, but there was little fresh material in this show.

Karen Santorum makes plans to let Rick go to exhibit hall, will she be making plans to change the White House decor?

That said he ended on a high note with “You are blessed to live in a time when America needs you”. He called on delegates to live in honor, ending with “The ‘how’ we are of America is the Constitution, the ‘who’ we are of America is the Declaration.”

To those who support Santorum, this speech will have been music to their ears. Whether he can light up the election with the sound of his brand of music remains to be seen.

 

 

 

Paul Ryan Got It Right! See the Video of Paul Ryan’s Entire Speech at CPAC 2012

Bookmark and Share  On Thursday, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, Chairman of the House Budget Committee, proved again to me why I was ready to endorse him back in August when he gave running for President some serious consideration.

Ryan’s CPAC speech was not a loud, gimmicky, Herman Cain-like sales pitch or slick, fast mouthed attempt to convince people to buy what they’re selling like Vince, pushing the “Schticky” on T.V.  It wasn’t a halftime speech or an uplifting series of cheers from a pep squad.  It was instead, a serious assessment of the truths we must face as a nation and as conservatives.  It was pure Paul Ryan….honest, hard hitting, even keeled and right on the mark.

Paul Ryan’s CPAC speech was a sobering statement about the ruin this nation faces by a single moment more of Barack Obama’s leadership but true to form, Paul Ryan did not ignore the blame deserved by his own Party and it was his criticism of conservatives that I appreciated the most and that the men running for running need to listen to the most.

In addressing the Republican attempt to unseat President Obama, Ryan stated;

“You know, it’s not going to be enough to condemn the President’s attempt to pit one group of Americans against another. Instead we must promote upward mobility, starting with solutions that speaks to our broken education system, broken immigration system, and broken safety net programs that foster dependency instead of helping to get back on to their feet.  In other words a bold reform agenda is our obligation. We have an obligation to provide the American people with a clear path that gets our nation back on track.  If we make the case effectively and win in November, than we will have the moral authority to enact the kind of fundamental reforms that America has not seen since Ronald Reagan’s first year.

That’s the moral case for going bold. But there’s also a strong political case for going bold.

The times call for leaders who understand the depth of the problems we face. And that offer far reaching reforms that are equal to the challenges.”

Anyone who has read my greatest criticisms about Mitt Romney knows, that his lack of boldness is I believe his greatest problem in  this election.  And at the same time, it is Newt Gingrich’s natural instincts to be bold which have led me to endorse him over Romney and the others in this race.

It is my belief that Mitt Romney’s attempt to play it safe is now failing him and I appreciate the fact that Paul Ryan took the time to articulate the need for conservatives to step forward and offer a bold Reagan-like vision for out future.  Now I just wish that the men remaining in the race for President will take Paul Ryan’s advice.

But that was just one of many good points that Ryan made in his speech. For the many other good points, I suggest you hear him yourself.  His speech is well worth the time it takes to hear his valuable words.

Bookmark and Share

A Populist CPAC, but where are the ideas?

Bookmark and Share Meeting Donald Rumsfeld today, the man who knows his knowns from his unknowns, he saw my media badge saying WhiteHouse12 and asked me “You’re from the White House?” I explained I was not, and we are a website covering the election, but I can’t be sure whether he was disappointed or not.

Being an election year, you would expect CPAC 2012 to be a populist fest of election themes, peppered with attacks on the Obama administration, and today’s line-up did not disappoint on that front. The worrying thing is that the slate of speakers, while inspiring the crowd, did not have ideas to inspire the folks with outside the conference hall. The speakers were long on broad principles but short on specifics.

CPAC 2012 Kicked off with a populist energy, but are speakers offering enough?

Marco Rubio got the crowd all whipped up, ready to be severely unwhipped by a windbag speech from Mitch McConnell. The House Senate Majority leader did the math well when he said that if you lose your job in the Obama economy it will take you 40 weeks to find a new one. However, his math failed him when he exceeded his 10 minute slot by some 20 minutes. Some disciplined editing down to 10 minutes would have given him a better speech. When he got a cheer at the end I couldn’t work out whether it was for his message or the fact that he had finished.

The schedule ran 30 minutes late for the rest of the day, and Michele Bachmann followed. Her speech was probably the most detailed of the day, focused on the series of foreign policy failures by the Obama administration. The former candidate launched a sustained attack on the policy failures, and blasted the president for not backing Mubarak, saying “Obama failed to stand by Mubarak and that helped fuel the revolution in Egypt … The president spurned the President of Egypt when he took his first foreign trip to Cairo. In an absolutely shocking move, he invited the Muslim Brotherhood to hear his speech when Mubarak’s policy was to keep the Brotherhood at arm’s length.”

Bachmann attacked the president for not standing by Israel, “Before Obama was elected, no one had ever heard of a United States president saying to the world that the United States is not a judeo-christian nation.  I am here to say we are.” She concluded “The president’s foreign policy does change the history of the world, which is why Barack Obama cannot have a second term as president.”

Rick Perry got the crowd going as well, focusing on the economy he said “Success on Wall Street shouldn’t come at the expense of Main Street.” With the crash on the way, Perry said “Folks on Wall Street who saw it coming, they made millions; folks who didn’t see it coming, they got bailed out.” His parting shot was intended to strike an ominous note, saying “I’m fearful of what the score’s gonna be if we let the president start the second half as a quarterback.”

More populist notes were struck by Herman Cain, who told CPAC “A lot of people thought that after the character assassination that was launched against me that Herman was going to shut up and sit down and go away… Ain’t going to happen.” On his 9-9-9 plan, Cain told conservatives to press candidates for federal office to embrace his flat-tax solution before they are elected. He also invited “Joe The Plumber” Samuel Wurzelbacher, who is running for Congress in Ohio’s 9th District, to take a bow.

None of the main speakers offered endorsement messages for the 2012 GOP nominees, preferring instead to talk more generically about the need to stop a second Obama term. A late addition to the speaker slate was Rand Paul who arguably matched, perhaps exceeded, the rapturous applause received by Cain. Paul asked if the President hated rich people and poor people with jobs, but then went on to state “The president doesn’t really hate all rich people, just those who don’t contribute to his campaign.” He then rallied “If you’re a crony, if you’re a buddy, just stop by the White House.”

Paul rightly reminded attendees of Ronald Regan’s “optimism,” a president who he said “turned a whole generation of Democrats into Republicans.” His parting shot was “Who will be that next Ronald Reagan?” This gets to the heart of what folks are feeling, which ran though this whole first day, feeling the need for inspiration, the need for a positive approach, the need for American exceptionalism.

What was lacking was any real depth to the conservative messages today, and it will take more than the invocation of the name of Ronald Reagan and repeating the wrongs of the incumbent to put a conservative into the White House. Reagan brought more than sunny optimism to the White House, he brought some strong and deep ideas on the economy and foreign policy as well. I didn’t hear the equivalent depth of ideas today.

Tomorrow will see Gingrich, Romney and Santorum take the stage, but will they bring any more than today’s speakers? I may not know the knowns or unknowns of what tomorrow holds, but I know I won’t be holding my breath.

Bookmark and Share

View Marco Rubio’s CPAC 2012 Speech in its Entirety

Bookmark and Share   As one of the opening speakers at the 2012 CPAC event, Florida Senator Marco Rubio demonstrated why he is the future of the G.O.P. and the nation.  He offered a speech that marked with a wonderful mix of  humor, sharp criticism and hard facts that highlighted the differences between the left and right and the exceptionalism of our nation which stems from the conservative ideology that founded it.

One of the best lines comes when Rubio related to the crowd in telling of how as a freshman in the Senate, he was initially floored by being in the presence of so many respected, prominent, national leaders and at times could not believe he was there, in the presence of all of these powerful people.  He then recalled how six months later he couldn’t help but wonder how those same people ever got there.

Rubio’s speech was hard-hitting and accurate and he delivered it so fluidly and naturally that one could not help but tell that they were listening to a future President of our nation.

Video from Rightscoop.com Bookmark and Share

 

Video of Rick Perry’s 2012 CPAC Speech

Bookmark and Share  Texas Governor Rick Perry offered the over three conservatives gathered in D.C. at CPAC a very fiery speech that focussed on what America will be if we continue down the path that President Obama is taking us.  He did so in large part with an emphasis on one of the issues nearest and dearest to the Lone Star State Governor…..the Tenth Amendment.

Bookmark and Share

Click Here to Join White House 2012 at CPAC Via Our Official Livestream of the Conference

Bookmark and Share    Today is CPAC and as an official CPAC Blog, White House 2012 is proud to have our own David  Cowan reporting to us from CPAC.

We are also proud to provide you with a White House 2012 livestream of the event provided to us by CPAC.  To join this gala conservative extravaganza live, simply click on the live feed at the following link http://videosrvr.com/player/1328470235957283072


Click here for a schedule of events and to find out when your favorite leader will be speaking.

Bookmark and Share

The CPAC 2012 Blogger of the Year Award: Who Should Receive It?

 Bookmark and Share   It’s that time of year again.  It’s the time when activist conservative Americans make an annual pilgrimage to Washington, D.C. for what has become a political ritual of sorts.  It’s the American Conservative Union’s annual Conservative Political Action Conference.  And at this event the CPAC Blogger of the Year Award is given to a practicing blogger for their distinguished service to the Conservative Movement throughout their career.

Each year, this now prestigious honor is presented to a conservative member of the online universe who has advanced conservative principles, provoked thought and influenced countless opinion leaders, peers and fellow conservatives.  Past recipients have included Ace of Spades, Steve Gilbert, Ed Morrissey and Javier Manjarres of The Shark Tank.  This year, there is no shortage of deserving contenders but for me, there exists one blogger who deserves the honor more than most.  It is Maggie Thornton of the blog, Maggie’s Notebook.

Maggie’s Notebook is a wonderfully entertaining mix of social and political news that has a way of sourcing everything back to the conservative principles that lie at the heart of CPAC.

The CPAC event itself is comprised of  some of the conservative movement’s most influential thinkers, leaders, and opinion shapers,  each of which offer, workshops, presentations, and speeches that inspire truly dedicated conservatives in a way that reinforces their faith in their ideology and renews their committment to advancing its cause.  The event is one part battle cry, one part planning, and another part patriotism.  It involves a call to arms of sorts.   Here, right leaning activists are united with the Constitution in their head and a sledgehammer in their heart and the thinking behind the Constitution inspires them to take a passionate swing of that sledgehammer in an attempt to dismantle aspects of the behemoth federal bureaucracy that have exceeded their constitutional authority and in many cases have authority that is not even allowed by the Constitution of the United States.

As is the case with all things political, not everyone always agrees on exactly what is the right course of action on every issue. However,  as speech after speech is made and issue after issue is discussed, the light shed upon the political ideologies behind the policies of our government, reinforces the belief of those gathered together, that any conservative roadmap to prosperity for our nation and its people, does not involve any left turns.

But when all is said and done, after the speeches have ended, the discussions have been exhausted, the conservative cause has been reinvigorated , and the forces are fired up, there remains a unique battalion of conservative commandos whose job it is to make sure that the words spoken at CPAC continue to echo across the nation.  They are conservatives bloggers.

Bloggers have become an integral part of the political infrastructure that develops and communicates political ideas and trends.  These dedicated thinkers help shed light on that which the mainstream media is not willing to publicize because it either is not sensational enough to meet their “if it bleeds it reads standards”, or because it conflicts with their own interests or the interests of the media moguls and barons behind the writers who serve at their discretion.  Yet in the close-knit community known as the blogosphere, word travels fast and so when one little known blogger reports on their small town’s policy to pay their schools superintendent a whopping three quarter of million dollar severance pay settlement in addition to a $120,000 salary in annual retirement  benefits, it has a way of rapidly becoming an infuriating example of outrageous liberal excess and wasteful spending that gets held up as evidence everywhere from Keansburg, New Jersey to Bell, California.

Bloggers not only help influence opinions, in many ways they have taken control of the agenda.

Today, being a journalist who makes a living by writing for the major daily papers or television, cable, and radio outlets, means starting the day by checking blogs  for a story or an angle that their mainstream competitors have not already dissected and disseminated with enough repetition to prompt widespread spontaneous public regurgitation of the facts and the myriad of conclusions that can be drawn from it.

Then there is another aspect of control the blogosphere has been able to take credit for.  When the media is unwilling to police itself, the blogosphere is there to it do for them.

Thanks to the blogosphere, when a New York Times reporter named Jayson Blair fabricated stories and sources in order to sensationalize true events, several independent bloggers relentlessly reported about the scandal.  Other bloggers picked up on it and soon an undercurrent of internet information created a firestorm which the mainstream media could not ignore and soon the Jayson Blair incident became a widely recognized scandal that ended with the ousting of New york Times editor-in-chief, Howell Raines.

So bloggers make a big difference.  Collectively, if armed with the facts and with well articulated arguments, responsible bloggers can achieve just about any political change they desire.  If the conservative blogosphere saw fit to make sure that John  Boehner was not reelected to another term as Speaker of the House, you could count on the next President of the United States  having to contend with Speaker Eric Cantor.

Which is why the Blogger of the Year Award is a very important highlight of the CPAC gala and why Maggie Thornton deserves the honor .

While there is a countless number of dedicated conservative bloggers, there are numerous factors that limit the number of individual blogs and bloggers who are truly worthy of being distinguished with this honor.  Some of those factors include accuracy, support of the facts, style, and the ability to take real events and articulate them in a way that makes it clear why conservative thinking is superior to that of the left.  All of this makes a conservative blog good, and the better the blog, the more readers it attracts.  The more readers it attracts, the more widespread the dissemination of the opinions articulated in that blog become.  And when it comes to Maggie’s Notebook, the conservative opinion is advanced by leaps and bounds.

In addition to providing links to everything from our founding documents and votes on specific legislation as well as such things Essential Sources, data on the elections for   President/VP 2012U.S. Senate 2012, and  US House of Representatives 2012,  along with links relating to Primary and  Caucus Debates, and even a special heading for the growing Fast & Furious scandal, Maggie Thornton provides readers with a myriad of topical tales relating to society and politics, that consistently ties everything back to a presentation of evidence that supports how conservative thinking lifts all boats.

Through her writing, Maggie Thornton consistently illustrates how conservatism is that which represents the fundamentals which make us a constitutional republic and how liberal ideology retards our nation and holds back our people.  And she does so in a way that holds both conservatives and liberals accountable to our founding principles.  She encapsulates an overriding message of liberty that is designed to point out the type of nation that America is meant to be, and the type of nation which it will become if we continue to adopt watered-down Republican conservatism and full-blown liberal-socialism.

For these reasons, I have proudly nominated Maggie Thornton for CPAC Blogger of the Year.  Through Maggie’s Notebook, Ms. Thornton epitomizes the best of America as an individual and the best of the blogosphere with her blog.  She proves that in America, the power can rest with the people, for here is one woman who armed with knowledge, a keyboard, and a passion for civic responsibility, can make a difference.  And Maggie has made a difference.   A difference that requires a steady stream of committment to her site that accounts for a steady flow of new, daily content that is timely and topical.  Such committment requires sacrifice and dedication and for Maggie it pays off.  According to Alexa, the leading provider of free, global web metrics which provides analytics for competitive analysis, benchmarking, market research, or business development, Maggiesnotebook.com has a three-month global Alexa traffic rank of 160,578 but in the United States is ranked #41,626.  That may not seem like much but using White House 2012 as an example of an average blog, the Alexa rating system used for Maggie’s Notebook gives White House 2012 a worldwide ranking of 3,442,023, and a U.S. traffic rank of 394,665.

Ordinarily, those numbers would make me want to close up shop on White House 2012, but our stats are really not that bad when you consider how prolific blogging has become.

According to several internet tracking outlets more tha 196 million people “have started a blog” and last year over 368 million people have read blogs.  One source cited figures showing that “nine blogs are created every minute and 2.3 content updates are posted every second”.   Of course more than a quarter of those blogging ventures go abandoned in a matter of weeks and more than half go dormant within six months.  However, they still remain lumped in  with thew global and national internet ranking systems as they continue to be stumbled upon in cyberspace.    So those statistics provide some solace for me when it comes to White House 2012’s traffic, but it says all the more for success of Maggie’s Notebook.  Clearly the ranking of Maggie Thornton’s conservative blog is a great measure of success and evidence that not only is she getting the conservative message out, but people keep coming back for more.

So if you happen to be a certified CPAC blogger at this week’s conference in D.C., do us all a favor and cast your vote for Maggie’s Notebook.  Not only is it an outstanding blog, it is a source of inspiration for bloggers everywhere who hope to someday be able to look back and say, “I made a difference through my writing.”.  Maggie Thornton certainly has!

Bookmark and Share
%d bloggers like this: