Notes from CPAC:
- Conservatives have stayed true to their talking points so far. “Obamacare bad, deficit reduction good” is the general takeaway from all the major speakers here. And for their part, the crowd is happy to hear it. During Michelle Bachmann’s opening speech her mention of Obamacare not only brought the expected boo’s but a roar of hisses as well.
- The young people really like Rand Paul. Not that this is any surprise, but there were more twenty-somethings yelling their cheers for his message reducing the level of government then for any of the other major speakers. There was also a fair number of people booing him when he talked about cutting the military budget, but the youth crowd held out and there were far more cheers than jeers.
- Speaking of jeers, the schedulers might want to think twice before placing people with such conflicting fan bases back to back. After Rand Paul, Donald Rumsfeld took the stage and was met with a chorus of shouts and boos that continued through the majority of the speech. One individual was especially boisterous and escorted out of the room. The pro-Rumsfeld crowd did their level best to drown out the other side, chanting “U-S-A!” every time the opposition would start to get too loud.
- Whoever is selecting the introduction music for the speakers either has a great sense of humor or is used to selecting music for high school football teams in the 1990’s. Multiple uses of Jock Jams favorite “Are you ready for this” made an appearance today and of course Newt Gingrich entered to his normal song of “Eye of the Tiger.” There were also surprisingly fewer country songs then one would have stereotypically been expected from a conservative get together --though Rand Paul and his Texas introducer didn’t leave CPAC completely Western free. Still, with a few notable exceptions it is hard to find “cool” music that supports conservative causes.
- As Americans, we are inherently special. To a man, every single speaker at CPAC mentioned “American Exceptionalism.". Rand Paul at least drew the distinction that only our Constitution makes us unique.
- Finally, Paul Ryan knows philosophy. During his speech Ryan spent a good deal of time talking about the ramifications of the belief that rights come from Nature and God, not from the government; proving that he can do more than just toss numbers around.