Accuracy in Media

The 32nd annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is now history and what a weekend it was.

I have attended this conference for over 20 years and I noticed one important change this year that may not have been noticeable to the average attendee. That is the overwhelming number of high school and college students attending the conference. While CPAC has had a large number of students in attendance over the years this year it was particularly noticeable due to the lack of older conservatives attending. It didn’t dawn on me until the second day of the event when I realized that many of long time attendees were nowhere to be seen. As I attended various events this was borne out by the lack of recognizable faces. This is actually a positive for the movement if the momentum can be sustained and I think it can. While the dinner with Vice President Cheney was a very crowded event, it couldn’t compare to the enthusiasm the students had for author and pundit Ann Coulter. It was as if a rock star were performing. The line to get a seat for the event started hours before and stretched as far as the eye could see. For those who couldn’t get in, every closed circuit tv had large crowds huddled around them.

The conference also cemented in my mind the resurrection of Newt Gingrich. The former speaker of the house who has written several fictional books in the last few years and has been largely out of politics gave a rousing speech. Even for those that still disagree with him they had to agree the line to have his book autographed was impressive. I think it was one of the longest lines of the conference.

This conference has become such a major event that even the ACLU and the Drug Policy Alliance had booths. Not exactly groups associated with the conservative movement.

At our own booth where I was working for most of the conference we were under continual siege from the students buying our bumper stickers. Just for your information, the most popular ones were, Another Member of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, Ted Kennedy’s Car Has Killed More People Than My Gun, Annoy A Liberal, Work Hard Be Happy and Save A Tree, Eat A Beaver showing that students had a great sense of humor as well as good taste.

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