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:



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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.”

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Video from TheRightScoop.com

View Allen West’s Entire CPAC 2012 Speech

Bookmark and Share  Florida Congressman Allen West delivered a speech filled with lots of red meat for conservatives and raised the roof on CPAC in a way that few others can do.  In both the content of his speech and the delivery of speech, Allen West proves that he gets it and makes you wonder why others don’t, including those who are running for President.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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