I am again reporting live (courtesy of the Heritage Foundation’s mobbed Internet Row) from the thirtieth annual Conservative Political Action Conference, a conference at which President Reagan spoke seventeen times. This is the first time I have attended the conference, and it is an eye opener. It appears to be oversubscribed by about thirty percent. During the standing room only presentations this afternoon by Oliver North and Ann Coulter, hundreds of mostly younger audience members stood three or four deep at the back of the large hotel ballroom that is the conference’s main venue.
I have been stuck by the stellar quality of the speakers of all stripes–elected officeholders such as Senator James Inhofe and former Governor James Gilmore, public policy intellectuals such as Frank Gaffney and Michael Ledeen, and scholars such as Professor Richard Vedder of Ohio University. Ted Nugent has been prowling the halls throughout the conference promoting his new book, Kill It and Grill It (I might be a little off on the title). He is dressed in a magnificent navy blue suit and looks like a million bucks; thanks to Deacon, however, I can’t get the song “Cat Scratch Fever” out of my head. By far the hottest of the hot button issues addressed at the conference are border control and immigration. Michelle Malkin has not yet appeared at the conference, but the mere mention of her name in the context of these issues draws riotous applause.
Ann Coulter just gave a hilarious talk on “the treason lobby,” i.e., the Democrats. It was fun to see her appear before a friendly audience; she was greeted like a culture hero. She was witty, warm, and relatively relaxed. I couldn’t take notes fast enough to keep up with her; virtually every line would be worth quoting. While she was just getting warmed up, however, I did note her statement that, for the treason lobby, “the evidence is in on global warming, but we don’t have enough evidence yet to act on Iraq…They once had enough evidence, but that was a long time ago, before the November election.”
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