I went to CPAC not knowing exactly what to expect. I thought I would see some great speeches, which I did, but what I really saw were great people.
By now most of you have seen the highlight reel. Bachmann’s speech was inspiring, and shortly after seeing it I voted for her in the straw poll. Trump was also a powerful speaker and managed to piss off the Ronulans in the process, so that was fun as well. John Bolton gave a great remarks on Friday, the day after Mubarak stepped down, and made everyone there long for someone serious shaping our foreign policy. Alan West rounded out the speakers, taking on the Keynote on short notice and doing a tremendous job, discussing how this moment and the tea party energy is the “Dawn of a New America.” I was inspired and hope that he will have a large role in the future of the GOP. It needs him.
The thing that did most to feed my soul though, was not the speeches from the podium, but the conversations around the table. I made some great new friends and saw some old ones as well. In many ways it was similar for me to the original 9/12 DC March on Washington, where I was able to meet and network with people that I had formerly known only by reputation, or email lists or conference calls.
It reminded me of the spirit of the tea party movement that was present in early 2009 and gave me great hope for the future of the movement.
There was a tremendous grassroots energy at CPAC, from people starting magazines, and media companies, to individuals wanting to find ways to network the pro west Iranian dissident movement with the tea party.
This is a tremendous time to be a tea party member. If we manage to work together, there is nothing we cannot accomplish.