CPAC Update: McCain Update, Oooooh, Guess Who I Met, You Won’t Believe What Bush Is Doing
* First off, interesting detail: I mentioned earlier that McCain got a surprisingly good reception. Well, after talking to multiple people who got into the McCain event, I found out why that was and why the hall was packed so tightly that they couldn’t even fit all the media people in: They brought in a couple of busloads of McCain supporters to cheer for him and hustled them into the hall before he spoke.
* Tonight, at the reception, I got a chance to meet Ken Blackwell, Wayne LaPierre, and Mark Steyn. They’re all very cool people, Steyn in particular.
* I was also one of the very few bloggers who went to the Presidential banquet to catch Marsha Blackburn and Robert Novak speak. Blackburn is actually really funny, which is sort of a suprise. Since when are any members of Congress funny? Novak was introduced by…guess. Ok, still guessing? All right, believe it or not, Sam Donaldson and was pretty funny himself. Novak then went on to give a long, rousing explanation of why conservatives should support McCain in 2008.
* Last but not least, George Bush’s speech had to be moved up because he’s heading out to see disaster victims. How early was it? Believe it or not, it was moved up to 7:15 AM — but that’s not the kicker. The kicker is that you have to be there 2 hours BEFORE THAT to give the Secret Service time to check you out. So, if you want to see George Bush tomorrow, you’re supposed to be there showered, bright eyed and bushy tailed, at 5:15 AM.
PS: After having to carry a camcorder bag around with me everywhere all day while dressed in uncomfortable shoes, I think I have more appreciation for what women have to deal with on a daily basis.
Update #1: The Politico, which at times has been a factually challenged publication, put out the following story,
CPAC to all CPAC-ers: Don’t boo McCain
John McCain may have it easier than he expected today when he commandeers the podium at CPAC this afternoon. Conservatives from all over will predictably fill the room to the brim to listen to what the now GOP front-runner has to say, despite a hate/love relationship with the guy.
CPAC it seems, is directing its loyal goers to not boo McCain. They must be more excited that McCain has finally signed on to appear after years of snubs than they want to let on.
During registration last night at the Omni Shoreham a registrant was asking to upgrade his CPAC package and then proceeded to ask what time GOP front-runner John McCain was going to speak today. “Oh good,” he said to the response — answer: 3 p.m. today — “I hope they boo him out of the room.”
“No, no no no no” came the reply from the person registering him. “We’ve been instructed to tell participants not to boo McCain.”
“Are you kidding me?” the shocked CPAC-goer asked.
“Well, we want to seem above Democrats and we don’t want the booing to be the story,” the CPAC person declared. When asked for a response, CPAC’s Ian Walters told us: “We would hope that our folks would be polite and give him a fair opportunity to be heard.”
I can’t speak to what did or didn’t happen with any one person, but I was certainly not told by anybody not to boo McCain, nor did anyone mention to me that they were told that. So, the headline of the story is not just wrong, it seems to be implying some big effort by CPAC that doesn’t seem to be backed up by the facts. Yeah, they probably would prefer that people hadn’t boo’d McCain, but it’s not as if they’re handing out fliers or anything.
That story also really sticks out after hearing a former Fred Thompson supporter bitterly complain about how inaccurate the Politico’s stories were while Fred was in the race.