I’ve been a political junkie for a while now. It really took hold when Reagan came to Baylor tospeak with the College Republicans. I watch debates, observe campaigns, listen to the bickering over “stolen” elections. I even headed to DC for 9/12, Kill the Bill, and 8/28. My Facebook page is one long political rant. But I had yet to ever venture to that bastion of Conservatism — CPAC.
About 4 weeks ago, someone on Twitter asked if I would be at CPAC. I gave it some thought, and 15 minutes later I had my airline ticket, a hotel room, and my CPAC registration. I was going to the show! Maybe I might even get excited about one of the lackluster candidates still in the race.
How does one prepare for their first CPAC? I scoured the site, looking for any information that might help me plan. Not much to go on, so Google to the rescue. Thanks to Jimmie’s Rookie Guide, I discovered two important things – 1) I needed comfy shoes, and 2) I wouldn’t get to see everything, so make a plan.
Twitter build-up to CPAC was something to behold – Occupy DC threats, blogger reunions, suspense over BlogBash invites, candidate bashing – the works! I couldn’t wait to meet my Tweeps IRL, (and I learned a new acronym.)
Thanks to a late flight being even later, I slept in and missed the technology mayhem which greeted CPAC registration. I rolled into the Marriot just in time to see Andrew Breitbart and Chuck Woolery holding court in the lobby. The tone was set; I was in political Heaven!
Over the next 3 days, I listened to Presidential candidates, political pundits, Senators, Congressmen, and a myriad of panels and opinions. I envied the tweeted star sightings on Bloggers Row, strolled the aisles of the expo, and joined 5 new organizations. It took 2 days to realize the best meet & greets were happening in the hotel bar right after the day’s events, and I missed any Occupy drama that took place outside and in the hotel lobby.
I did indeed meet some of my favorite Tweeps IRL, and Thursday’s highlight was BlogBash. Sharing the room with my favorite bloggers and pundits was a privilege and a joy, and I met some new bloggers to add to my list of frequent reads. So much talent in one room! (Special thanks to Ali Akbar!)
Friday’s highlight was PurpleBash, and I was again privileged to attend and meet the amazing women behind Smart Girl Politics and Politicalistas. I look forward to joining forces with both groups, which are sure to have a huge impact on Conservative women in this country.
My biggest take-aways from CPAC – I have a responsibility to be politically active, one person really can affect change, Jimmie should be required reading for every rookie, and Vice & Victory throws one hell of a party. See you next year at CPAC!