The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

CPAC Day 1: Deadline in the Lobby Bar

Posted on | February 10, 2011 | 8 Comments

Greetings from the fabulous Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, scene of the awesomest CPAC evah! The photo above was taken last night in the lobby bar, where I filed my column for today’s American Spectator:

WASHINGTON, D.C. — More than 10,000 activists will convene here today at the Wardman Park Marriott Hotel for the biggest gathering of conservatives in history.
This year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) will not only be the biggest in the 38-year history of the event, it is quite nearly certain to be the most festive and energized. Following on the heels of last fall’s mid-term election triumph, conservatives are in a mood to celebrate and this three-day conference is where they will assemble for that celebration.
You wouldn’t know this, of course, from most of the press coverage. According to the media, the right is deeply divided by internecine feuds, with social conservatives battling libertarians and neocons in a grand three-way donnybrook that threatens to destroy the Republican Party.
Sic semper hoc.
For as long as I’ve been covering CPAC, reporters have been hyping the idea that this event is extraordinarily controversial, using their coverage of the conference to suggest that the conservative movement is teetering on the brink of its final ideological implosion. . . .

Please read the whole thing. Trying to write while surrounded by partying CPAC-ers — the early arrivals, including many bloggers — was an extraordinary challenge. I kept telling people, “I’d love to talk, but I’m on deadline!” Here are a few photos to give you a flavor of last night’s carnival atmosphere:

Atlanta talk-radio host and GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain talks to conservative activist Ruth Malhotra. After Cain arrived last night, he was quickly surrounded by CPAC attendees eager to shake his hand and get their photos taken with the guy I introduced to my friends as The Next President of the United States.

John Hawkins of Right Wing News and Pamela GellerĀ of Atlas Shrugs. “Smile and say, ‘Charles Johnson’!”

Who are these two women with Fingers Malloy? The answer might be somewhere in my notes, but those were scrawled on a cocktail napkin I can’t find right now.

Da Tech Guy regales a CPAC-er with tales of cannoli.

Again: Who is this woman with Fingers Malloy?

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