Ok. Ron Paul won the presidential straw poll at CPAC.
It doesn't quite have that Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome feel to it, but neither did the event -- barring some notable exceptions. The annual Conservative Political Action Conference concluded yesterday in Washington, DC and 31 percent of the nearly 2,400 voters said they preferred the libertarian from Texas.
He beat Sarah Palin?
Based on sheer media exposure you wouldn't think this would be the outcome. If time in the spotlight meant winning the contest, Sarah Palin would be the undeniable champion.
Palin's been in the news for, well, uh, everything. She skipped the conference this year and although watched portions of it, seemed more interested in another race.
Palin came in third place garnering just seven percent of the vote.
Live long and prosper
And then there's Mitt Romney who received plenty of exposure earlier in the week once his superhuman powers were revealed. Romney allegedly employed the dreaded "Vulcan grip" on a hapless rapper on
Planet Nebulon an Air Canada flight last Sunday. We told you about it here.
He was unable to keep his grip on voters at the political confab though. The winner of three consecutive CPAC straw polls, Romney placed second yesterday bringing down 22 percent of the vote.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Indiana Rep. Mike Pence each received six percent of the vote while former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee each tallied four percent.
So is the Ron Paul revolution "alive and well" like he told his supporters on Friday night?
Probably not. The straw poll doesn't have a great batting average.
How did Romney celebrate his victory at CPAC last year? By promptly dropping out of the presidential race.
What can we can learn from the conference? Two things:
1. Watch out for conservative publisher Andrew Breitbart. He's not going away.
2. The Tea Party is thriving. The Hotline noted the left's favorite movement to lampoon is leaving with enormous cred.
"Virtually every speaker paid homage to a movement that remains loosely defined, praising fiscal restraint and a renewed energy among activists protesting the Obama admin's policies. The media had fun interviewing the guy in the tri-cornered hat and "Don't Tread On Me" flag, but GOP leaders are doing their best to incorporate, and kowtow to, the movement. Anyone who can show they lead a local Tea Party group is leaving CPAC with an enormous sense of power, and the GOP is all too happy oblige."
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