Friday, February 18, 2011

After CPAC

Which brings me back to CPAC. The one downer for me was that at least three of the best conservative prospects for president – Jim DeMint, Bobby Jindal and Chris Christie – did not attend the conference and have made it clear that they do not intend to run in 2012. That left two speakers who towered above the field – Ron Paul and Allen West.

Paul won the straw poll, which once again affirmed that more and more conservatives are coming to agree with Ronald Reagan's assessment that "the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism." Paul has been the most honest and consistent politician in Washington for three decades, and his main speech at CPAC had about half the crowd on their feet cheering wildly. But the other half sat on their hands whenever he took aim at America's misguided foreign military adventures.

But the biggest surprise at CPAC was the keynote closing speaker, Allen West, newly elected congressman from Florida. West's speech brought the house down, reminding me of Barack Obama's keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. No question about it, a star was born at CPAC on Feb. 12.


But my focus is on today. If you believe the polls, Republicans, whose penchant for continually repeating the same mistakes is a never-ending source of wonderment, appear determined to run the wrong candidate again. The two front-runners continue to be Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee. Might just as well throw in John McCain to round out the field.


Republican voters had better think long and hard about that before casting their primary ballots for the party's next presidential candidate. In particular, they would be wise to read and listen to what Ron Paul actually says as opposed to what his detractors write and say about him.

Robert Ringer: Republican life after CPAC

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