Posted on | January 25, 2013 | 40 Comments
Rich Lowry gives a video interview at the NRI Summit
No sooner had I walked into the lobby of the Omni Shoreham Hotel than I was accosted by John LaRosa, Republican campaign consultant and originator of the #UnsustainableBarTab. “What? Are you stalking me?” LaRosa said. “Did you follow me from the airport?”
We immediately went to the room where his fellow consultant Brad Marston was waiting. We then headed back down to the smoking area, on the way encountering National Review reporter Rob Costa, who’s prepared for the riot I’ve been trying to incite at this weekend’s summit. Costa’s not a smoker, so we bid him adieu and headed out to the front of the hotel where the snow was being whipped around by a cold wind.
“Hey, I just came from Boston,” Marston said. “This is balmy.”
We checked in and got our credentials, then went to the restaurant for a late lunch/early happy hour. While we waited for our sandwiches to arrive, National Review‘s Kevin Williamson walked in and was invited to join us. We started telling tales of the past campaign, including hilarious anecdotes about Rick Perry, Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich that can only be repeated off the record, and then only if someone else is picking up the tab — which John and Brad were, of course: “Media relations” being a legitimate tax-deductible business expense.
We adjourned the convocation and I headed down to the ballroom where some 700 were gathered for the Summit. Ran into Joe Schoffstall, Bruce Carroll and Stephen Gutowski, all of whom are Rising New Media Superstars (and now owe me beers for the shout-out).
The first Controversial Moment of the evening occurred early:
— Robert Stacy McCain (@rsmccain) January 25, 2013
What? Fawning praise for the loser? Is this what we’ve come down to? Praising the “splendid candidate” who lost? Well, I needed a smoke after that, and on my way back down, I ran into my friend Orit Sklar and got into a conversation about the retirement of Saxby Chambliss (for which Ali Akbar deserves much credit) and the likelihood of a multi-candidate primary. Tom Price will almost certainly run for the seat in 2014, but . . .
Well, obviously, this was all strictly off-the-record and not for attribution — just two friends talking privately. Hey, did I mention that some of my friends are Republican campaign consultants?