I’m going to call my second day at CPAC a mixed bag. While I didn’t exactly have a table seat on Bloggers’ Row and I couldn’t get even a breath of an internet connection all day long (which is why I did no blogging at all), I did get to spend chunks of the day with some truly wonderful people. I have heard it said that friendships online aren’t real, that people you “know” through Twitter or blogs or Facebook aren’t really friends. I say that is complete and utter bunk. I have made some dear friendships with truly amazing people over Twitter and other social that I only get to build upon in person once or twice a year. One of those times happens at CPAC. That, largely, is why I go.
Last night, at the Bloggers’ Bash hosted by FreedomWorks and a number of other fine groups, I got to spend some time with three of the four people who most influenced me as an early blogger: Ed Morissey (now of HotAir) and Jon Henke and Bruce McQuain (of Q and O, though Jon is no longer there). I’d never met Bruce and Jon before but, because of the relationships we had built online, we chatted like as strangers meeting each other for the first time, but as reunited friends of long acquaintance. Ed and I meet perhaps twice a year, if I’m lucky, yet we chat as if we lived right next door to each other. That friendship and camraderie, built online and given face and voice at CPAC, means a great deal to me, more perhaps than I’ll ever be able to put into words.
I know it’s “cool” these days to whack CPAC as three days of political theater, infighting, and high-school cliquishness. Maybe it is all that, for some people. For me, CPAC is where my friends are. For that, I am immensely grateful.
And now, links!
- My friend Andrew Ian Dodge announced that he will run for Senate in Maine against Olympia Snowe. His announcement may look like a joke, but I promise you, it is not. Dodge is serious about this race and is going to make a very good run at winning. Personally, I think he can win.
- While you’re there, also check out Duane Lester’s interviews with David Horowitz on 60s radicalism and J. Christian Adams on the administration’s involvement in voter intimidation.
- It would not be CPAC without Stacy McCain finding himself in the middle of a scrum and making someone’s day better while he’s there. His Day 2 roundup is right here.
- Jimmy McMillan, better known as “The Rent is too Damned High” Guy, stopped by Bloggers’ Row to holler a bit. Jim Hoft caught some of his fly-by on video.
- Donald Douglas caught Ann Coulter giving an interview and shares a few choice tidbits of that and other goings-on.
- Moe Lane spoke with Senator Mike Lee of Utah for a few minutes about CPAC and his plans in office.
- Tim Pawlenty met some bloggers, who peppered him with a few tough questions. He came out of it a more interesting candidate for 2012, I think. His speech, which was better than I expected, only made his day better.
- Jennifer Rubin posted some solid impressions on speeches by a couple other potential 2012 candidates: John Thune and Mitt Romney. I think Thune helped himself (though he has to reckon his tough talk on spending with his previous not so tough talk on spending) and Romney gave a perfectly safe speech.
- Herman Cain gave a rip-roaring speech toward the end of that day that, I predict, will give skeptics a good reason to give him a second look as a 2012 candidate.
- I think the big winner of the day was Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, whose speech at the Reagan Dinner seems to have blown the roof off. It looks like he convinced some people that he can do the job of President, if he wants to run for it.