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On the Ground at CPAC 2023

It’s that time of year again when self-proclaimed conservative pundits come together just outside of Washington, D.C., at the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC). Yes, you read that right: CPAC is back in D.C. after a two-year Covidian hiatus in the Sunshine State.

Even though it’s an off year as far as campaigns go, I’m making the familiar cross-country trek to escape the oppressive Once-golden State for a while and spend time among like-minded people. And by like-minded people, I mean PJ Media’s Stacey Lennox and Jeff Reynolds, among others. If memory serves me, this is probably my sixth CPAC over the past ten years, but this one feels a little different than the rest.

When I landed at my first CPAC, I wasn’t yet a columnist at PJ Media. Things were different then, not only in the country but in my life as well. At that time, I still had two teen sons at home in southern California so I couldn’t be as active politically as I am today. I did, however, manage to write for the website of a nationally syndicated radio show and served as the Communications Director for one of our local Republican women’s groups. I also volunteered for numerous local, state, and national political campaigns. At that time, the chaos and disorder I sensed seemed mostly concentrated in California; not so today. Sadly, as I feared, the infamous California rot seeped out and infected the rest of the country.

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CPAC too was different then. There was an energy and an urgency that has waned, just as the Ron Paul hordes brigades of college kids have, too. In those days, there was a huge (not yuge) push by the Paul youth to overwhelm and win every CPAC straw poll. Most of us laughed at their dogged dedication to winning it while we also secretly wondered why no one in the GOP could or would whip up such unbridled enthusiasm while continuously feeding us milquetoast candidates like McCain and Romney.

Anyhoo, CPAC 2023 starts today, and here’s a list of the confirmed speakers. If you could ask one question to one of the speakers, who would you choose and what would you ask? Let me know in the comments and we’ll do our PJ Media best to bring your burning questions to as many of the speakers as possible. Stay tuned.

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