We're here at CPAC where we are joining with thousands of others to fight the good fight for solid conservative principles.
We've heard from all the major speakers now and here's our take on the potential 2016 GOP presidential candidates that we've heard.
Funniest and most human: Chris Christie. No matter the circumstances, Christie always seems to enjoy himself.
Most charming: Marco Rubio. Above all, Rubio remains enormously appealing and his story resonates.
Most intriguing: Scott Walker. Walker's greatest strength is what he doesn't reveal. Therein lie the seeds of charisma.
Most forceful: Rick Perry. A surprisingly compelling and powerful speaker.
Most cultish following: Rand Paul. Paul and his following seem to merge into a sort of driven, frenzied plea.
Most intense: Ted Cruz. To call this guy "passionate" would be an understatement.
Biggest challenge: Jeb Bush. Bush faced a mostly respectful but relentlessly skeptical audience and comported himself quite well.
Smartest man in the room (and he'll be happy to remind you of that): Donald Trump. And, guess what -- Trump's a damned good speaker, too!
And, though he's no longer running for anything, we have to give kudos to Newt Gingrich who held the crowd in the palm of his hand during remarks that were both thoughtful and thought-provoking. Gingrich has still got it.
CPAC's greatest strength:
--The huge number of bright, young conservatives that CPAC attracts from all over the country and the world. Seeing so many young people who are so aware, so involved and so well-involved restores our faith in the future of our nation.
--The vast array of speakers and ideas that are shared in open, varied exchanges in an atmosphere of tolerance and mutual respect. Common courtesies are alive and well at CPAC.
--The distinctive characters in attendance -- expressing America's rich heritage of rugged individualism.
--The numerous social events that give us all a chance to interact, mingle and get to know one another across generational, religious and geographic lines.
--The enduring heritage of CPAC and the American Conservative Union, so deeply rooted in the legacy of the founders of modern conservatism: Claire Booth Luce, William F. Buckley, Phyllis Schlafly, Barry Goldwater, Lady Margaret Thatcher and President Ronald Reagan. Avanti!
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