The right descends on Washington this week, as thousands of activists pour into the nation’s capital to attend the annual Conservative Political Action Conference. It’s a heady time—with Republicans having seized control of the House, closed the gap with Democrats in the Senate, and now gearing up for a chance to reclaim the White House in 2012. But all is not well at the old-line American Conservative Union, which throws the annual party.

The organization is embroiled in an embezzlement scandal. Fellow travelers are boycotting the whole affair because CPAC’s big tent allowed a gay Republican group inside. With one day left before kickoff, no headliner had been chosen. And longtime leader David Keene is said to be leaving the group after the conference.

So amid the turmoil, what’s a political junkie to look for at this year’s three-day orgy of ideas? An endless stream of 2012 presidential wannabes will preen for adoring fans and plentiful cameras. Donald Rumsfeld will be hailed as a conquering hero. A host of new conservative leaders will be welcomed to the club. And if that weren’t enough to whet your appetite, Pat Boone will be on hand, too!

By l3wis

12 thoughts on “Fighting off a boycott and scrambling for a headliner, the biggest annual conservative gathering takes place this week. Six things to watch at CPAC (H/T – Helga)”
  1. Is Noem really talking about political correctness in the military? Never ceases to amaise me how she is an “expert” in so many areas- like serving on the education committee with NO education background.

  2. “But she says the differences in serving on Capitol Hill rather than Pierre hit her right away.” Kristi catches on fast. Who knew???
    Check out their actual work sked. The shaded dates are the days congress is in session. She has lots of days she won’t be working, so I think to reduce that budget she is so worried about she and the rest of her cohorts need to have their salaries cut. They should just get paid for the days they work and not the days she comes back to SD.

  3. Bryon looks like a guy who wishes his wife hadn’t won. I’m guessing he is pretty much “Mr. Mom” now.

    That Alen West is a hoot! Now I would like to see Kristi be as outspoken about something as him. He is a ROCKSTAR!

  4. She didn’t make the CPAC straw poll and Thune barely made it.
    Rep. Ron Paul (TX): 37% Ex-Gov. Mitt Romney (MA): 31% Ex-Gov. Gary Johnson (NM): 21% Gov. Chris Christie (NJ): 16% Ex-House Speaker Newt Gingrich: 11% Rep. Michele Bachmann (MN): 10% Ex-Gov. Tim Pawlenty (MN): 9% Gov. Mitch Daniels (IN): 9% Ex-Gov. Sarah Palin (AK): 7% Ex-Gov. Mike Huckabee (AR): 6% Herman Cain: 5% Ex-Sen. Rick Santorum (PA): 5% Sen. John Thune (SD): 5% Ex-Gov. Jon Huntsman (UT): 3% Gov. Haley Barbour (MS): 3% Others: 12% Undecided: 13%

  5. Good point. I don’t think it’s bryon he looked whipped and tired. I thought he looked plain lonely.

  6. Helga,

    Thune isn’t a red meat guy so I don’t think he has been selling the Pres thing. He would look like the guy though if he were in a room with Barbour, Romney, Huckster, and other boring folks. Just like Obama looked good next to white guys and an old lady.

    Exactly why Noem is a big deal to the GOP. How many hot women are in DC as Representatives?

  7. It makes Boehner and Cantor look good to have her stand behind them. They are all using each other.

  8. If Thune were in the room with Barbour, Romney, or the Huckster, as you call him, it would still be a boring room. Unless, perhaps, Thune would tell his C Street House stories, surely there are some good ones.

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