By Alan Caruba


The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is over after three days of speakers and seminars. It drew a huge crowd of mostly younger voters, many drawn from the Young Republicans for Freedom who, in 1973, teamed with the American Conservative Union for the first conference. Over the years roughly half of those attending have been of college age.


The crowd this year was so large, estimated to be between 10,000 and 11,000, that no hotel in Washington, D.C. was able host the event. It was held at the National Harbor convention center just outside of the capitol.


What was most impressive was the fact that every major player in the Republican Party and representing a leadership role in conservative affairs, was there. 


The winner of its straw vote this year was Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) who won 31%, far ahead of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) at 11%, Dr. Ben Carson at 9% and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie who received 8%. Mitt Romney won in 2007, 2008, and 2009. Then Ron Paul won in 2010 and 2011. Romney won again in 2012. Rand won in 2013 and now again this year.


Does the straw vote represent anything significant? I doubt it. The Paul’s, Libertarians, reflect the younger voter’s idealism, but neither represents a presidential prospect. Most likely one of the governors will emerge as the Republican Party nominee to run for President.


The two who have the best shot are Chris Christie and Texas’s Rick Perry. Perry did not do well in the 2012 GOP primaries, but we later learned he had had back surgery and was in a fair degree of pain during the debates.


Christie is already moving passed the “Bridgegate” problem though you wouldn’t know that if you tuned into MSNBC at any hour. They have devoted themselves to making it into a big issue in order to defeat any chance he might have, but have succeeded only in making themselves look more stupid than usual. Christie has lost some of the momentum he had after he won a second term for Governor in a blue State.


Along with Perry, Christie was very well received at the CPAC convention. The fact is that the GOP has a deep bench of governors that include Nikki Haley, Rick Scott, Scott Walker and Bobby Jindal which tells you how well Republicans have done as governors nationwide. There are 29 of them at last count.


Ted Cruz (R-TX) who burst on the national scene with his filibuster about Obamacare is a powerful orator. He has managed to generate opposition from the Republican establishment in D.C., but so has the Tea Party.  We can count on him and others to be heard from in the years ahead.


No doubt the high level of enthusiasm and confidence at the CPAC convention reflects the utter disaster that the Democratic Party inflicted upon itself by passing the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. When you add in the way Obama has looked weak, first with Syria and now with the Russian invasion of the Crimea, Obama is fast losing his once great messianic appeal. His own party is disinclined to give him mindless support these days.


Obama is already being compared with former President Jimmy Carter and history will likely judge him as the worst President this nation has ever had to endure. Few, if any, Democrats running in the forthcoming November midterm elections will even want to be seen on the same platform with him. All he does these days is fund raise, play golf, and take vacations.


So, if the CPAC straw vote provides little indication of who will be the GOP candidate in the 2016 election, the response to both Christie and Perry provides a signal of what direction the party may take. Another good indication will be the way the mainstream media goes after whoever it thinks might be the GOP selection. It is little more than an arm of the Democratic Party.


Much has already been written of the
“divisions” within the GOP as a strong conservative debate ensues among the candidates who, in truth, all know that Obamacare will be a deciding factor in the midterms and thereafter. I anticipate a Democratic Party bloodbath and so do they.


Americans want Obamacare repealed and, if the GOP gains control of the Senate and increases its hold on the House this year, you can count on a vote to do that. Obama will veto it but he could be over-ridden. That would be historic.


It is, however, way too soon to be making any predictions. All manner of events could intervene and alter the political scene. For now, though, I am inclined to think that Gov. Perry has a good chance of emerging as the presidential nominee in 2016. It would not surprise me if Hillary Clinton decided she’s too old and too tired to put herself through a long campaign. After all, a virtual unknown named Barack Obama defeated her in 2008 when she did that the last time.


For now, I am greatly encouraged by the turnout at the CPAC convention. The future belongs to the generation that attended. They and their parents, and just about everyone else have been screwed by Obamacare and know it.


© Alan Caruba, 2014

Views: 754

Tags: CPAC, Christie, Conservatives, GOP, Libertarians, Midterm-Elections, Perry, Rand-Paul


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Comment by Mangus Colorado on March 12, 2014 at 7:52am

 Jeff I used my real name until some nut cases tried to cause me and my family problems. I have always written under pen names for decades. If you read the content of my Campaign experiences you will find them to be accurate.

I am here to share experiences with the hope that we can turn round the Ship of State before running aground and being sold the idea of Socialism or collectivism will save us all equally. Many on this site know me and my actual name - in fact you are now one as I sent you my email address which contains my name.

Comment by James William Olmes Rogers on March 11, 2014 at 11:38pm

Yes, Dennis L. Kolb, Sr., you are right!!!  I confess my stupidity!!!  My stupidity revealed in the telling light of your superior intelligence and understanding of complex social and political issues!  I thank you for all of the time you have devoted to me, the Dummy!  Such a waste, though!  Surely the thrust of your intellect should be focused on those with a greater capacity to benefit than on a naif such as me.  I'm sure there are others, far more worthy, awaiting with eager anticipation to benefit far beyond my limited scope.  Seek them, Dennis L. Kolb, Sr.  And to underscore just how "stupid" I am ~ the "Dummy" I am ~ all along I just thought you were boring!  Oddly enough, I still do!!!  But what's a Dummy know???

Comment by James William Olmes Rogers on March 11, 2014 at 9:01pm

Dennis L. Kolb, Sr.,

You, sir, are right about one thing.....  Repealing the ACA law won't happen before January, 2013!

Regarding "natural born citizen:"

Status as a natural-born citizen of the United States is one of the eligibility requirements established in the United States Constitution for election to the office of President or Vice President. This requirement was intended to protect the nation from foreign influence.

The Constitution does not define the phrase natural-born citizen, and various opinions have been offered over time regarding its precise meaning. A 2011 Congressional Research Service report stated that

The weight of legal and historical authority indicates that the term "natural born" citizen would mean a person who is entitled to U.S. citizenship "by birth" or "at birth", either by being born "in" the United States and under its jurisdiction, even those born to foreign parents; by being born abroad to U.S. citizen-parents; or by being born in other situations meeting legal requirements for U.S. citizenship "at birth". Such term, however, would not include a person who was not a U.S. citizen by birth or at birth, and who was thus born an "alien" required to go through the legal process of "naturalization" to become a U.S. citizen.[1]

The natural-born-citizen clause has been mentioned in passing in several decisions of the United States Supreme Court and lower courts dealing with the question of eligibility for citizenship by birth, but the Supreme Court has never directly addressed the question of a specific presidential or vice-presidential candidate's eligibility as a natural-born citizen.

You might ask, as do I, why the SCOTUS has never directly addressed the question.....  Perhaps it's the same answer as the one John Roberts would give if he honestly answered why he defined the ACA as a "tax" and voted for it's implementation......   

Comment by James William Olmes Rogers on March 11, 2014 at 6:44pm

No, Dennis L. Kolb, Sr., you fail to inform me of "facts," just opinion[s] of you or others......

That, as well as your love of capitalizing the first letter of words that do no warrant capitalization, is boring.....

Comment by James William Olmes Rogers on March 11, 2014 at 5:38pm

Dear Dennis L. Kolb, Sr.

Thank you for your reply.....  Are the quotes you provided yours?  Or others?  It really doesn't matter, they [the quotes] are meaningless.  

Ted Cruz IS qualified to become POTUS.  It is my hope he will, and I work on his behalf.....

Yes, Senator Cruz said, "I am absolutely convinced that we are going to repeal every single word of Obamacare."  You hold that to be "A Huge Lie."  No, DLK, Sr., that is NOT a "huge lie," that is a HUGE GOAL.  It must be accomplished.....   If not by Senator Cruz/President Cruz, who???

Please, if you choose to reply, use your own words/ideas.....


Comment by Jeff Dover on March 11, 2014 at 4:31pm

Hey Mangus,

Not to worry.  There was nothing personal in my comments.  I don't know you so it could not be personal if I wanted it to be.  In fact, who does know you?  Like another person who occasionally cruises this site, you seem to be using an assumed name.  What is it with those who claim, in your case, to be a Reagan campaign insider,  or the other who says he's a high-up in the Arizona GOP, that you can't use your real names?  Will they take away your birthday or something?  Just kidding of course, but what's up with that?

Comment by James William Olmes Rogers on March 11, 2014 at 3:52pm

Hey, Dennis L. Kolb, Sr. ~ have you ever read about or heard of Ted Cruz?  He's a US Senator from Texas.  Surely you've heard of Texas.  It's a US state.  Ted Cruz, the US Senator from Texas, is a Conservative.  I will not attempt to speak for ".....the Hearts and Minds of Americans" other than myself, but Senator Cruz speaks to my heart-and-mind!  I applaud what he says ~ and what he does on behalf of Texas, our Constitution, our Republic, and me!

Texas US Senator Ted Cruz!  Try Google and introduce yourself!

Comment by Pamela Small on March 11, 2014 at 12:18pm

I have to agree with Jeff Dover on not supporting another establishment Progressive RINO.  Christie not only supported Obama right before the election when it mattered, he supports muslims and AMNESTY.  What is left? Nothing in my book! I don't agree with Ann Coulter on much, but I do agree with her on this one issue!  NEVER vote for AMNESTY supporters! EVER!  Rand Paul also support AMNESTY folks!  

Not to mention after all of the whining and crying Christie did over federal funding/bailout money for his hurricane ravaged coastline, he didn't get the job done. Last I read the place continues to be a unfinished project. Is he too busy extracting revenge for perceived slights to get the job done?  Do we need another ramrod thug in the peoples house? We can do better.  I love Ted Cruz!  

Comment by Mangus Colorado on March 11, 2014 at 12:16pm


I do not hold your statements personally as all entitled to their opinions.  Let me State that the Reagan campaign which I was a part of [insider] so I am well informed how what and why he was able to grab the right leaning Democrats of which there are few left. There is no way a Republican or Independent can win a national election and not run for the center. 

The unbroken law is you run to your base left or right in the primary and then you shift to the center in the General. There have been no exceptions on either side. Reagan was not what the Tea Party believes a TRUE CONSERVATIVE needs to present or they will not be supported. 

Reagan was the ESTABLISHMENT in 1980. Look at his history in California and you will see the other side. Look at his record many items he signed would be considered left leaning today. Read about the BIG TENT giving a voice to the left side inside the campaign and government.

This is a interesting article about parties moving to the extremes of their positions meaning they have no ability to expand the base.

Comment by Michael J. Larkin on March 11, 2014 at 11:49am

Remeber Ike and the Warren Court? Earl Warren was a California communist with no experience on the bench, but decided 5-4 on every major issue of the day, like Brown vs Board, with the flimsiest of Constitutional grounds

They ruled that a declared communist could teach in our universities, voila! Our universities have become breeding grounds for young communists, who voted 80-20 for Obama and hid marxist thoughts and actions.

I understand that John Roberts has two foster children who could be deported...that was the stick thtat made him vote for Obamacare...every man has his price.   

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