Sunday, March 17, 2013

CPAC: Our List Of The Best, Worst And In Between

CPAC is over but the highs and lows of the huge three-day conservative gabfest will be remembered and discussed for months to come.
Here's a list of some of the best, worst and somewhere in between:

Most inspiring speech: Well, we didn't see all of them but we saw most of them and Marco Rubio takes the prize for being charming, hip and passionate all at once. He's a winner!

Biggest disappointment: The food service at Gaylord's National Harbor Hotel and Convention Center. At least in its restaurants, this massive complex seemed totally unprepared for what hit it. better luck next year.

Most ubiquitous: Those red and black "Stand With Rand" stickers, placards and tees that seemed to pop up at every turn.

Four fine, new young friends: Nick Rapak of the Penn State College Republicans; Jay Shipman of TMS Audio Productions in Jefferson City, Missouri; Brent Batur of the University of Toronto and Anthony Martin Lewis of Saratoga, California. We promised we'd give a shout out to all of them. BTW: Governor Christie, if you're reading this Anthony would like to come to NJ and work for you. 

Most daring: Ian Jacobson of the Texas College Republicans who attended the event sporting his ever-present neon colored Mohawk hairdo.

Best answer: Gwen (she never gave us her last name) from New York City who told us she knows and once worked for Rudy Giuliani. When we asked her what's the secret to working for Rudy, she answered in a word: "Loyalty." And she added that for Rudy that means "being willing to take a bullet." Whew!

Most predictable: Donald Trump talked a lot about himself. But he was still both informative and entertaining.

Nicest group: The people behind the Tea Party Patriots who threw a swell party on Saturday night with a great theme (Hunger Games) great music and plenty to eat and drink. They were very welcoming.

Shut up already: Dick Morris. Last year was enough. Stop embarrassing yourself.

Possible overkill: The huge security presence. Still, it was nice to feel safe.

Most Missed: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell.

Nicest surprise: South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley introducing Mitt Romney.

Most innovative event: The Walking Dead Party that featured live, quick click electronic introductions and exchanges of photos and information for quests. Engaging fun!

Funniest moments: All of those clever, spot-on, one-liners that Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal delivered with perfect timing. We love you, Bobby!

Bittersweet memory: Governor Mitt Romney's appearance and classy, inspiring remarks.

Biggest stunner: Senator Mitch McConnell. We didn't know he was such an effective speaker. 

Welcome shift: All of the new speakers, programs and panels featuring women, young people and minorities. 

Biggest absence: Live music. 

Three who should have stayed home: Newt and Colista Gingrich and Rick Santorum. Enough, already!

Best expo booth: Generation Opportunity's take on March Madness featuring a live hoops competition.

Daring challenges: New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte who laid down the gauntlet on national security. Yo go, gal!

Without-a-net-moment: Senator Ted Cruz who spoke convincingly and apparently without notes, no teleprompter and no aid of any kind. He's a comer!

Bravest: The two young fellas from Ocean County (NJ) who distributed flyers extolling Governor Chris Christie's stellar record. Hey, Christie had a respectable showing in the straw poll after all.

Best shopping: The Peeps store at National Harbor.

Biggest yawner: Sarah Palin. This act has worn thin.

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