Skip to comments.Were Tea Partiers Taking Notes at CPAC?
Posted on 02/24/2010 5:07:55 AM PST by Kaslin
With attendance bursting at the seams, this years Conservative Political Action Conference clearly benefited from the new recruits and fresh energy stirred up by the nascent tea party movement.
But the secret ingredient to the enormous success of this years largest-ever CPAC was the steady hand of experienced leadership behind the scenes that ensured everything went smoothly. It is precisely that kind of skillful guidance that will be needed for the tea party movement to coalesce and realize its enormous potential.
Spontaneous, grassroots uprisings are exhilarating and the tea parties and health care townhalls last year helped flatten the Democratic surge. And Scott Brown effectively tapped into the energy source for his stunning victory last month in Massachusetts. That was just one race, however, and it was the sole focus of the nation for its last week.
Nationwide Congressional elections this November are the playing field of established parties with infrastructure and truckloads of cash. That doesnt mean the tea partiers wont be able to exert leverage on the races, but giving proper voice to those disaffected by big government and irresponsible politicians will require leadership and sophisticated organizing.
The conservative movementgroups ranging from Americans for Tax Reform and the Heritage Foundation to the National Rifle Associationhelped pave the way for the tea party revolt of 2009. And conservative activists, including supporters of these longstanding grassroots groups, comprised a large percentage of the attendees at tea parties.
But how exactly the energy, message and political newcomers generated by tea parties transforms into a part of the conservative movement or the GOP hasnt yet been sorted out. Based on talking to CPAC attendees, its safe to say that at least several thousand of them went to a tea party or health care townhall.
If attendance at CPAC is any indication, the Republican National Committee isnt much interested in interacting with and listening to motivated conservative activists. RNC Chairman Michael Steele spoke at CPAC, but according to former Michigan GOP Chairman Saul Anuzis, of the 168 RNC national committee members, only three spent real time at the conference.
As the tea parties have uniformly expressed, they have no desire to be co-opted; but it is obvious that they feel ignored by both political parties. Many elected GOP officials, such as Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, have been working diligently to bring core conservative principles back into the fabric of the party.
It would seem, though, that the official Republican Party apparatus would need to take every opportunity to engage tea partiers and other disaffected conservatives. Arizona GOP Chairman Randy Pullen and California GOP Chairman Ron Nehring were there, actively interacting with the CPAC attendeesbut no other state chairmen were. David Norcross of New Jersey, who is a solid conservative, was the only other national committee member even there.
The answer for the tea party movement isnt necessarily to anoint a single leader, either. They have 50-plus leaders; its entrepreneurial organization, explains Anuzis, who ran last year for the RNC chairmanship and has attended CPAC for years. Their trick is to ask, What do we do to force Republican candidates or any candidates to earn our support?
In the coming months, those activists seeking to change the direction of government will face the same challenges as all burgeoning movements. Enthusiasm is aplenty, but what about focus and leadership? Supporters of the failed White House candidacies of Barry Goldwater in 1968 and Ronald Reagan in 1976 ended up remaking the GOP, and then they incorporated the Christian conservatives awakened by Pat Robertsons presidential bid in 1988.
If the tea partiers doubt the importance of experienced hands steering the ship, they should look at the incredible success of this years CPAC. Many things could have spiraled out of control, yet these possible flare-ups ended up as minor blips.
One buzzed-about example came on Friday afternoon when one student condemned CPAC for allowing a conservative gay rights group to co-sponsor the conference. After he was booed off the stage, CPAC vice-chairwoman Millie Hallow, one of the most under-appreciated women in Washington, then took the podium and reminded the crowd that CPAC allows for freedom of opinion. Normalcy soon returned.
CPAC has actually had the same leadership team in place for several years running. American Conservative Union Chairman David Keene has attended over 30 CPACs, and this was his 26th year as chairman of the event. In addition to defusing a potentially volatile situation, 15-year veteran Hallow also stage-managed the big dinners, both of which went smoothly and ended on time. Lisa DePasquale excelled in her fourth go-around as CPAC Director, building a schedule with broad appeal. CPAC Communications Director Ian Walters was working his 13th CPAC, and somehow (yet again) managed to help generate overall positive press in the mainstream mediano small feat.
Because of the experienced team planning and managing CPAC, the event moved to a bigger hotel to handle its expanded attendance of 10,000, without skipping a beat. And the squabbles inherent to politics were kept at a minimum, while attendees networked furiously and generally enjoyed themselves. All of which could pay enormous dividends this November.
For their sake, lets hope the tea partiers were taking notes at CPAC.
“It is precisely that kind of skillful guidance that will be needed for the tea party movement to coalesce and realize its enormous potential. “
B.S. The beauty of the real tea party is our disorganization and grassroots activism. This piece was written by a GOP bureaucrat.
To me, tea partys are not and will never be organic.
A bunch of condescending elitists looking to steal the TP thunder.
This can not pass.
Most of these organizational technocrats have been handsomely compensated from the billions of dollars sucked out of hardworking conservatives in the last few decades.
I wonder how many of them would work for free.
The Tea Party is a state of mind. A state of mind of like individuals who want a fiscal conservative federal government.
There should never ever be an officially registered Tea Party. Individuals of the Tea Party mindset should only contribute directly to candidates.
Any officially registered Tea Party should be known to be tainted and avoided at all costs!
Exactly the kind of condescending establishment pablum that ticks Tea Partiers off.
Any officially registered Tea Party should be known to be tainted and avoided at all costs!
agreed - many dems are now TP's too - I dont see a common home for the disgruntled in that respect.
It should remain grassroots....too many heads to cut off the beast to battle it effectively from their side
“For their sake, lets hope the tea partiers were taking notes at CPAC.”
I think it is the Repub-RINO’s like Steele that should have been the notetakers.
We’re not going away. We are a political force that nobody can deny.
"Phoney conservatives they are."
CPAC/ACU is run by David Keene, involved by scandal.
Palin-bashing CPAC/ACU Chair donated $2,000 to Arlen Specter, endorsed Romney
Washington Insider David Keene Disses Governor Palin, Claims to Speak for Grassroots
Keenes ACU also puts on the annual CPAC conference in Washington.
.In the last three years CPAC has devolved into nothing more than
an annual love fest for the most established of establishment
Republicans, Mitt Romney. It should come as no surprise that David
Keene supported Mitt Romney in 2008.
ACU President David Keene Endorses Romney
Long courted by Romney, Keene agreed to formalize his endorsement of
the former governor during a face to face meeting in Florida on
Tuesday, according to knowledgeable sources.
David A. Keene (born May 20, 1945) is the current chairman of the American
Conservative Union, a position which he has held since 1984. Additionally, he is the
managing associate at the Carmen Group Lobbying, a lobbying firm based in
Washington, D.C. In December 2007, Keene endorsed Mitt Romney's presidential campaign.
uhm...wow. Pure unadulterated clueless arrogance. CPAC was a freak show on parade.
Another one that just doesn't 'get it'.
If we were to coalesce and become another top-down led faction, we will be treated just like another pimple on the GOP's hindparts.
The T.E.A. party (let's start spelling it right) is from the ground up and its real strength lies in its state and local influence.
On the right issue, nationally, all the local water droplets will be a tsunami--of their own volition. But we will become just another smear under the GOP bus if we let those who do not understand us or our movement dictate who we are or how we organize.
This was a hit piece ~ the target was the young man, Ryan Sorba, who was BOOED as he got up to speak. That was the issue. If the homosexual privileges crowd booed him afterward, that wasn't the issue ~ it was the "before speaking" part.
CPAC, or was that some other kind of "packing operation" we were looking at, blew it when they let the homosexual activists ACT OUT.
Now, how do I know it was a "hit piece"? Well the second paragraph tells us that "experienced leadership" made everything run well. BTW, it was that same "leadership" that brought in the homosexual activists who then went outside the program to BOO a speaker BEFORE he spoke.
What the writer is telling us is that was the plan of their "experienced leadership" all along ~ that the BOOS were exactly what they wanted for this particular speaker.
YAF ought to think about that and disaffiliate itself from further involvement with CPAC.
Just confirmation that there are elitists in the GOP that need to be cleaned out before we move on to clean them out of the government in general.
I repost a comment I made on another thread:
“The MOST critical issue of all is the homosexual issue. Hopefully it was an aberration at CPAC and we will push back hard enough to get them back in the closet. It is our Waterloo as a nation. If we lose this battle and accept the homosexual lifestyle as normal, then well just accelerate the path to national destruction.”
Bullcrap!!! We have been doing just fine without ANY "steady hands of experienced leadership".
Those so called "steady hands of experienced leadership" is what got our country into the mess it's in!!!
"that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
“CPAC was a freak show on parade.”
Next year they can call it FudgePAC.
You claim to be a Palin supporter, but I never see any post by you defending her. Freeper presidio9 posted recently a column by that leftwing lunatic Richard Cohen who was smearing Sarah Palin.
I went through the entire thread and there was not one post by you defending her
Now go ahead and flame me