Right Online 2013 in Pictures (17 Pictures)


This year for the first time, Americans for Prosperity held its Right Online conference at the same time as its Defending the American Dream Summit. When AFP offered to fly me out for Right Online which was being held at the Universal Studios Resort in Orlando, I was thrilled to have the opportunity.

I arrived early on Thursday and that night, I went out to dinner with my brother and his wife, who were in town.

John Hawkins, Karen Hawkins, Randy Hawkins

John Hawkins, Karen Hawkins, Randy Hawkins

Later, I hooked up with some bloggers at a restaurant outside the universal park.

Eye on Politics, Steven Green, Tabitha Hale

Eye on Politics, Steven Green, Tabitha Hale

The next morning, Americans for Prosperity held its Right Online kick off. The highlight of day one at the conference was Arthur Brooks’
speech.

It was a short, simple speech, but it was so on point with what the Republican Party needs.

In other words, Republicans must do a much better job of connecting with people and convincing them that we care right off the bat. So, so true.

Tabitha Hale & John Hawkins

Tabitha Hale & John Hawkins

The event was being held in the district of wealthy, obnoxious moonbat Alan Grayson and the word was out that he was organizing a protest. Of OUR EXISTENCE.

Naturally, I had to go. So, a half dozen of us headed out. Sadly, Alan Grayson didn’t show up at the Alan Grayson protest, which was only about 20 strong.

At the Right Online Protest

At the Right Online Protest

John Hawkins in the anti-Right Online protest

John Hawkins in the anti-Right Online protest

Afterwards, we went to a nearby hotel to cool off before I headed over to be interviewed at the Defending the American Dream Summit by Tony Powers from Powers to the People.

Tony Powers, Senator Ron Johnson, John Hawkins

Tony Powers, Senator Ron Johnson, John Hawkins

Ben Howe & Kelly Maher

Ben Howe & Kelly Maher

While I was there, I chatted a bit with Scottie Hughes. I love this pic of her and Dana Loesch, even though it ended up looking a little weird.

Scottie Hughes, Dana Loesch

Scottie Hughes, Dana Loesch

After some more panels, I was invited to a dinner with a group of radio hosts including Ed Dean, Rusty Humphries, Scottie Hughes, and Steve Gill.

Afterwards, Americans for Prosperity rented out part of the amusement park for both the Right Online and Defending the American Dream Summit crowds to share. It started out with a speech from Benji Backer.

2000 people watch Benji Backer speak

2000 people watch Benji Backer speak

America’s 6th largest conservative talk radio host, Rusty Humphries, spoke as well.

Rusty Humphries

Rusty Humphries

Michelle Malkin also rocked the crowd.

Michelle Malkin

Michelle Malkin

I was dead tired, sweaty, and a little smelly from walking around in the Florida sun and I called it a night. However, most of the attendees hung around to ride the three rides that were set aside exclusively for us. It sounded like a lot of fun.

Chris Loesch, Michelle Malkin & Dana Loesch roam the amusement park

Chris Loesch, Michelle Malkin & Dana Loesch roam the amusement park (I swiped this one from Twitter)

On the final day, I attended my favorite breakout session of the event, “Pro Analytics: Maneuvering for Success: Facilitated by Joe Montes (AFP Foundation — New Mexico) Featuring Ethan Eilon & Joe Mansour.” The session covered analytics, email, and techy tips for improving your website. If that sounds technical, it’s because it was.

Stephanie Fontenot, Katie Harbath, Nansen Malin & Sara Mueller from the "Building Your Clout: Upping Your Social Media Impact panel"

Stephanie Fontenot, Katie Harbath, Nansen Malin & Sara Mueller from the “Building Your Clout: Upping Your Social Media Impact panel”

This Right Online is different than the other ones I’ve attended in that there were a lot of highly technical breakout sessions. That was a bit of a mixed bag, frankly.

On the one hand, liberal conventions have been way ahead of the Right in that aspect of things. While we were doing things like, “Introduction To Blogging,” liberals were doing complex presentations on how the Obama team created graphics and advanced campaign data collection techniques. This time, Right Online worked in more of those advanced sessions. On the one hand, for those of us who’ve been around the block a bit, that was fantastic.

On the other hand, the more tightly focused and advanced the session was, the less people it connected with. Combine that with a lot of the big name speakers who were speaking at Defending the American Dream Summit, but not Right Online and some of these sessions were lightly attended.

That brings up an obvious question: What if what those of us on the Right need the most at these conventions (more technical training and expertise) isn’t what we want? Time will tell.

After the panels, I was invited to a Michelle Malkin talk about Medicare on radio row at Defending the American Dream Summit.

Eye on Politics, Michelle Malkin

Eye on Politics, Michelle Malkin

Afterwards, I took a few more snaps before I had to bolt to catch my plane.

Pink Slip Rubio

Pink Slip Rubio

Marco Rubio spoke at the Defending the American Dream Summit and he was booed. That’s rather remarkable given that the “pink slip Rubio” people told me that they had a policeman standing next to them telling them that they would be thrown out of the conference if they booed Rubio. In other words, had security not been keeping the crowd quiet, the boos would have likely been much louder.

Rusty Humphries, Ed Dean, Erin Haust

Rusty Humphries, Ed Dean, Erin Haust

Abby Alger, Alexa Coombs

Abby Alger, Alexa Coombs

Just to top things off, Ted Cruz was on my connecting flight from Orlando to Atlanta. I got to speak with him for a couple of minutes after we landed. There was nothing earth shattering said, but for whatever it’s worth, he came across as a really nice guy.

All in all, Right Online was a fantastic conference. I want to thank The Blaze for hosting the media lounge, Fan Freedom for handling the Friday night dinner, and most of all, I really appreciate Americans for Prosperity putting on the event. The more technical panels were a step in the right direction, the event ran like clockwork, and the location was phenomenal. It was a great event and I look forward to next year.

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