The Other McCain

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

CPAC 2023: Celebrity Sightings

Posted on | March 3, 2023 | Comments Off on CPAC 2023: Celebrity Sightings

Sarah Palin says, “Hi!”

Wandering through the exhibition space here at CPAC, we turned a corner and saw people standing in line. “What is this about?” my friend asked. “Book signing,” I guessed, without any idea what author might be up at the head of this queue. But then I looked and saw it was … her.

From the moment she was announced as John McCain’s 2008 running mate, Palin has been adored by grassroots conservatives. The first time I covered her, at a rally in Lebanon, Ohio (“Sweetheart of the Heartland,” Sept. 10, 2008), it was obvious that she had ignited a populist fuse which, it could be argued, ultimately elected Donald Trump in 2016.

So, while I am generally immune to starstruck celebrity fanboy behavior — a professional journalist shouldn’t act that way — I decided I needed to get in that line with the rest of the fanboyNMs. When I finally got to the front of the line, there was only time for a brief conversation, as other people were waiting their turn. But I did mention the time in 2010 I visited Wasilla and hung out with her family, including little Trig, and also that my old friend Lynn Vincent was her co-author on Going Rogue. Palin said, “Tell Lynn I said, hi!” And then I had to make way.

Roaming the corridors later Thursday, I bumped into my fellow American Spectator contributor Jeffrey Lord. Don’t know why I look so glum in the picture. Probably needed to visit . . .

The lobby bar — this is where the real action is at CPAC. Never mind all those politicians and pundits blabbing on the main stage, I must be among the genuine grassroots. Or, at least, my old buddies.

Stacey Lennox of PJMedia was telling me very interesting off-the-record stories about people who shall not be named. One thing about being a journalist is, you hear so many juicy stories that you can’t ever publish because you’re sworn to secrecy by your sources. I never burn a source, and my sources never burn me, because they know there’d be hell to pay.

Talk-radio star Larry O’Connor pretending he doesn’t know that crazy old guy, but me and Larry go way back to Tea Party days.

Superstar lawyer Ron Coleman has represented many conservatives in court. As for the question of whose beers those are, my attorney advises me I have the right to remain silent. The one thing I’m certain of is, I didn’t pay for those beers. Professional journalists always dodge the tab.

Townhall columnist Kurt Schlichter is a former Army officer and practicing attorney, but he’s never claimed to be a professional journalist, which probably explains why he got stuck with the tab.

Between uploading these pictures and doing some other work this morning, time has flown, but I have lots more photos piled up that I’ll be posting later. Meanwhile, I need to get showered and dressed for another day of covering CPAC with professional journalism. IYKWIMAITYD.




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