Wednesday, February 24, 2010

CPAC: Observations From A Smart Girl Mom

This Smart Girl mom is truly a rookie when it comes to political conventions. I can count on one hand the number of times I've engaged in political activism, and most of those occurred in 2008/2009. Thank you, President Obama.
When I decided to take the leap and attend this year's Conservative Political Action Conference, it was a huge step outside my comfort zone. What in the world could I expect? Would I really get in to hear the speakers in person? Could I really get tickets? Would it be affordable? Most of all, would it be interesting and worth my time?

The answer was a resounding

One of the things I've been shocked to find out this past year as a blogger, and as a political activist, is how accessible our public officials are to those who are patient, persistent, respectful, and willing to do their homework. Because I couldn't find a babysitter to keep my children during the Thursday and Friday sessions, I chose to go to the Saturday session, making it far more affordable. Contrary to those on the left who think we're all rolling in the big bucks, there are many of us on the right who actually
aren't millionaires. Because you cannot purchase 'Saturday only' tickets in advance, my friend and I arrived early to get in line. We quickly found parking and raced to the elevator to beat the crowd, only to get upstairs and find that there was virtually no line at all. We paid, obtained our badges, and hurried to the main ballroom expecting to find standing room only. Wrong again. There were many seats yet to be filled. We arrived just in time to hear the former Senator, Hon. Rick Santorum, give a short speech and then open the floor for questions. This routine went on throughout the day, and if I had wanted to ask a question, the microphone beside where I was sitting had virtually no line when the time came to ask questions. We heard speakers such as Andrew Breitbart, Hon. Bill Bennett, Hon. John Bolton, Hon. Newt Gingrich, Col. Allen West, Glenn Beck, and others. My favorite speaker of the day? You guessed it--Ann Coulter. Controversial as usual, Coulter did not disappoint. Additionally, there were various panels throughout the day discussing such hot button issues as global warming and conservative foreign policies. Below the ballroom were what seemed like hundreds of various organizations and vendors set up with plenty of information and products readily available for anyone interested. My favorite? Why, SGP, of course. It was a pleasure to finally meet some of those smart girls I'm always networking with online.

Was it worth my time? You betcha! What was probably most interesting to me about the conference as a whole, other than the wealth of information I gained from the speakers, was how young the crowd was. Earlier today on
Townhall, I read in the comment section of one of the articles that "only fat old white men" attended CPAC. I can tell you from my own observation that that assertion is absolutely untrue. According to CPAC's own statistics, nearly 50% of the attendees were under the age of 25. I was encouraged to see this, although as a mom, I would suggest that if a student is going to spend his hard earned money to attend CPAC, perhaps he would be better served by listening to the speakers. I often wondered throughout the day if many of the young people sitting behind me were there just to party, to intentionally disrupt, or actually gain something from the conference.

So, for those who are in what I like to call the 'silent majority'--conservative women--it was well worth my time and the extra cash to attend CPAC this year. I plan to go back next year, and the only thing I'll do differently is go all three days and wear more comfortable shoes. We are living in perhaps one of the most important times in the history of our nation. It's important that we, the women who make up the conservative portion of this nation, educate ourselves so that we are able to do what is necessary to be effective in this battle for our freedom. CPAC became a tool to do just that for me this year.

My only disappointment?

Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh were missing.

(To view the CPAC 2010 speakers and panel discussions, see this link)
**This post can also be viewed
here. The wonderful ladies over at Smart Girl Politics and Smart Girl Nation have so graciously invited me to contribute to their online magazine. Please visit both sites as often as you can--we love not only your visits, but your feedback as well. See ya at both locations as often as possible!

No comments: