The Donald and Sarah Palin hair: a CPAC carnival of conservatism
Day 1 of the Conservative Political Action Conference – or CPAC – included Donald Trump touting himself, Michele Bachmann slamming 'Obamacare,' and Rand Paul talking about massive budget cuts. In other words, a classic CPAC day.
"George Washington” is here with his tricorn hat and Don’t Tread on Me flag. Young women sport Sarah Palin hairdos, and little Constitutions peek out of young men’s shirt pockets – some with Ron Paul 2012 buttons nearby. Oh, and The Donald is in the house.Skip to next paragraph
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The unscheduled appearance Thursday by Donald Trump was undoubtedly the highlight of Day 1 of the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, the carnival of conservatism that descends on Washington every year around this time. But this year, there’s more of everything – more people (11,000 and counting), more rowdiness, more potential presidential candidates. And Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee aren’t even coming.
At last count, including Mr. Trump, at least 13 possible contenders for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination will have given speeches by the end of the three-day conference. But no one could match Trump for the wow factor, when rumors began to swirl first thing Thursday morning that he was coming and would reveal that he is thinking of running for president.
Aside from Trump, Thursday’s roster of presidential possibles included Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota (she of “wrong camera” fame, in her State of the Union tea party response), former House speaker Newt Gingrich, and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.
CPAC's cavalcade of stars
There was a lot of cheerleading and Obama-bashing, with a few policy ideas thrown in for good measure. Sen. Rand Paul (R) of Kentucky, who isn’t running for president (though his father, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, may), talked about cutting entitlements – a suggestion that used to be politically suicidal, but given the skyrocketing national debt, won some applause.
Congresswoman Bachmann warned of how, under President Obama, “socialism rears its ugly head,” calling “Obamacare” the “crown jewel of socialism.” She reminded the audience that the president of China is named Hu, “and with all the money that we owe China, I think we might rightly say: Hu’s your daddy.” That got laughter and applause.