If you love politics and you’ve never been to the annual CPAC convention, you have missed out.
This year’s confab is not at its traditional home, the Marriott Wardman Park (which means attendees are unlikely to enjoy the simple pleasure of the Lebanese Taverna shawarma), but rather in the glassy confines of the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, just outside Washington.
There is a lot of fascinating hallway action at CPAC always, with vendors and sidebar conversations, and hustling political celebs drawing fans and camerpersons backing up backwards to keep up. There are also panels galore.
But the main attraction is the speakers. A very large number of the attendees are young people, from all over the nation. You can learn a lot about the current and future hot buttons of the Republican Party and of the conservative movement (and when those are the same and, more significantly, when those are different) by listening closely to which lines from which speakers get the best reactions. Sometimes, the responses are predictable (bashing President Obama with a clever jibe will always win big cheers), but what happens when, say, immigration gets mentioned, or China, or defense spending cuts?
You can watch a lot of the action here, courtesy of Yahoo, starting midday Thursday.
You can see the schedule through the weekend, including Sarah Palin’s Saturday speech, here.