It was quite the day in Woodley Park Today.
Rumors started early on in the day that The Donald would be coming to speak. He was not on the original schedule that we received. I actually liked his speech. Don't get me wrong, I won't support him, but it was a good speech. That is until he bashed Ron Paul. The Paulites (which dominate the CPAC crowd) booed him. It was quite amusing.
Donald Rumsfeld was given the Defender of the Constitution award and he was introduced by his very close friend VP Dick Cheney. The Paulites didn't take too kindly to this either. They were called war criminals. Kinda rude I thought. But, I was not surprised.
I met Herman Cain this morning. I am even more smitten now. He is so charming and kind. He stood in the bar lobby and was willing to shake the hands and talk to anyone that wanted to talk to him. He was not surrounded by a bunch of handlers like most politicians are. He will be giving his speech Friday at I think it is 4:30 EST. He also hosted the blogger bash after today's session ended.
I was willing to give GOProud a chance. And while I still feel that allowing speech is important in our country, the people who were against it were right. There is an agenda. I don't know what the agenda is, but an agenda it is. They were trying to plaster everyone with stickers and had placards everywhere.
The Muslim group that was there kept a very low profile and while I didn't pay too much attention as I had other things to attend to, I think they were ok. They were way in the back and you really had to look for their booth. They stayed in their booth and engaged the people who went to speak with them. None of the woman were veiled.
I also got to meet Bridgette Gabriel today. Oddly we ran into each other in the ladies room. She was more than willing to answer my questions while were washing up. She is very lovely, articulate, and smart. I have travelled through the Middle East and I love Jordan. It is a beautiful country. We talked about my experiences as an American and she told me my experiences were what she expected, as they are kind and giving by culture. She also told me that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live their lives like I do, but since we can't tell who is who, we must pay attention to the dangers. She told me something very, very disturbing. Something like 90% of Egyptian woman have genital mutilations performed as children. That is amazing. She is not optimistic that the Brotherhood will be held off for long after Mubarak leaves. She also explained that Mubarak needs to save face and he will leave the country for medical treatments and that is how she believes it will end. At this point we were still under the impression that he would step down today.
I spent some time volunteering at the Smart Girl Politics booth. It was great to see that a group that is barely more than two years old to have such name recognition. We signed up some new people and did make a few bucks for a worthy organization.
I ran into Joe Klein. I guess he wants to go on MSNBC or Meet the Press and mock us.
I ran into Richard Dreyfuss of all people. I have no idea what he was doing there as we don't seem to be his type of crowd. I walked by a poster for him but again, I was in hurry to get to my next place and didn't read it. My biggest surprise was that he didn't try to perform a citizen arrest on Cheney. He agrees with the Paulities on that front, at least.
I really heart Paul Ryan. His speech was a little policy wonk, but I personally like that. If he does want to run for president one day, he needs to work on that. He will only fire up a small segment of the voters with his current style.
The morning started off with none other than Michele Bachmann. She of course got the crowd going. She made a funny joke about making sure she was looking at the right camera. You may not realize it, but she is tiny. And for me to say that, she is really tiny. Because I am very petite.
I missed most of Rand Paul. I was doing my volunteer work at the time.
Tomorrow features Mitt Romney. I am not going to that. I do want to hear what John Thune has to say. He is at 1 pm EST. I also would suggest catching Mike Lee who follow Thune. I saw him speak the other night at the Tea Party Townhall and he is very engaging. The ever so exciting Tim Pawlenty will also be speaking tomorrow afternoon. For me, besides Cain of course, the highlight of the day will be the seminar on school choice. They are rightly pushing the notion that it will help grow the conservative movement. I firmly believe that to be true. Education is topic that we can all agree we have to do better on. The home schooling, vouchers, and charters are becoming more popular within the inner cities. This is a chance for us to do outreach to those communities to spread the conservative message. Many minorities are more conservative than they think they are. They just don't know what republicans/conservatives are. They have an image in their heads that is simply wrong. It is up to us to try to show them we are not what Pelosi and Co. have told them we are. Ron Paul will be speaking mid afternoon. Not going to make that; not a fan. Gov. Perry's name is being brought out as a GOP presidential hopeful yet again. He has said he won't run, but who knows. And yes, Herman Cain is the final speaker of the day. LOVE HIM.
I took no pictures today. I wanted to enjoy the day and just absorb everything.
CSPAN 3 is televising it. If you don't have that channel it is being live streamed over the web.
Oh, there is no chance that anyone other Ron Paul will win the Straw Poll. The only question will be who comes in second.