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Politics Today: The 2012 CPAC Edition

Tracy Bloom |
February 9, 2012 | 12:28 p.m. PST

Deputy Editor

CPAC Underway: The 39th edition of the Conservative Political Action Conference (a.k.a. CPAC) kicked off Thursday morning in Washington D.C. Three of the GOP presidential candidates - Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich - are scheduled to address the conference. Ron Paul, who won the last two CPAC straw polls, is noticeably absent from this year's conference, although his son, Sen. Rand Paul (R - KY) will be delivering a speech. Former GOP Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin will give the keynote address on Saturday, the third and final day of CPAC. Other prominent conservatives scheduled to speak at the event include South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, Wisconsin Rep. Ron Paul and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. 

Bachmann, Perry Address Failed Presidential Campaigns: Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry took radically different approaches in addressing their failed bids for the Republican presidential nomination. “Running for president of the United States is really one series of humiliations after another but it's also a very educational experience," Bachmann said, adding, "I know where John Wayne was born. I know the day Elvis Presley was born. Thirdly, I learned never forget the three things that you learn." Perry touched on his Texas A&M roots while briefly addressing his failed presidential campaign at the beginning of his speech. "Aggies never lose, we just run out of time -- you could say my presidential campaign just ran out of time," he said.

Cain Set To Occupy CPAC: Thursday must have been the day that CPAC organizers decided to have all the former presidential campaigns speak. Herman Cain, another former presidential candidate who ended his campaign before Iowa caucus, was also scheduled to address the conference on Thursday afternoon. Tweeted Cain:

I will be speaking at #CPAC today at 4:30pm ET! #OccupyThis

— Herman Cain (@THEHermanCain) February 9, 2012

Occupy DC To Also Occupy CPAC: Some Occupy DC protesters are planning to demonstrate outside the CPAC Conference.  The Huffington Post has more: "Occupy DC announced on its website that it will be staging a demonstration "in solidarity" with members of the AFL-CIO Friday at noon and again at 5 p.m. Some left-leaning students are also expected to carry out a separate demonstration inside the hotel that day, and Occupy protesters plan to march to the hotel from Malcolm X Park in Northwest Washington on Saturday." The first one is set take place Friday when embattled Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who is in the middle of a recall fight, makes his much anticipated appearance at the three-day event. A CPAC panel on label entitled "Return of Big Labor: What Can We Learn from Wisconsin & Ohio?," Thursday defended the union-busting governor and cast him as hero.

Perry Plays Off Of Eastwood "Halftime In America" Super Bowl Ad: Rick Perry's speech had one of the most memorable lines of CPAC so far, The Washington Post reported. “If it’s halftime in America, I’m fearful of what’s going to happen in the second half if we let the president start at quarterback,” he said. Perry was of course referencing Chrysler's "Halftime in America" Super Bowl ad, which featured Clint Eastwood.



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