Just months after their losses in the 2012 election, Republicans and conservatives are setting a vibrant -- and crowded -- stage at next month’s closely watched political cattle call.
The three-day gathering of the Conservative Political Action Committee, which begins March 14th just outside Washington, is expected to feature more than two dozen high-profile Republicans, including former Gov. Mitt Romney.
At least eight potential presidential contenders will be speaking at CPAC: Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.
There will also be five former presidential candidates attending: Romney, Perry, Santorum, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich of Georgia, and former Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin of Alaska.
One potential 2016 hopeful who won't be there, however -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Despite being the keynote speaker at the Republican National Convention and having a sky-high approval rating in the Garden State, CPAC officials told First Read Christie was not invited.Perhaps I can explain some things about CPAC to Ms. Hiegel as I have participated in the last three events. First of all it is not a conference for Republicans its for conservatives. There is a difference even though your bosses at NBC can't discern between the two.
CPAC is not a political cattle-call, it is an opportunity for conservatives to share ideas, rally behind conservative ideas, and discuss the best ways to present those ideas.
Christie's high ratings in NJ have nothing to do with whether or not he belongs at the conference, just as Obama's post election approval ratings do not make him an ideal speaker. While Christie does have some conservative positions especially on fiscal responsibility and right to life, there are other issues such as gun control and climate change which fall outside of the conservative norm.
And I wouldn't worry about the CPAC Straw poll, the only person who ever cared about that was Ron Paul who bussed young people in every year to give him the win.
Ms. Hiegel as a Journalism student should learn to learn more about a subject before writing about it. Sadly her blog posts relies on NBC news' stereotyped image of conservatives, Republicans and CPAC. Sadly at NBC she will never learn anything else.