CPAC 2014: Who Will be the Conservative Rockstar This Year?

CPAC 2014: Who Will be the Conservative Rockstar This Year?

 

Conservatives are taking a good look at the Republican party this weekend at CPAC 2014. Will they like what they see? But more importantly will they find a conservative rockstar to help them stand out to the rest of America?

Republicans might be “a bit lost in the wilderness right now” as one former GOP presidential  adviser describes them or maybe it’s just a case of trying to reinvent themselves in a changing world. Is CPAC 2014 the place to reveal the kind of leader that the party needs now?

“We still have a party that is trying to figure out who it is and what role the tea party plays, what role the establishment plays, what role the neocons/Bush-era Republicans play,” said Amy Walter, national editor of the Cook Political Report.

What will it take to pull all these different forces together into a stronger party? Sen. Paul told Hannity on Thursday that the party needs to step forward with a bolder message. He’s not scheduled to speak at CPAC until Friday but everyone is already putting forth their own ideas at the Conservative Political Action Conference this year about what it will take to win elections.

“You want to lose elections? Stand for nothing,” Ted Cruz said. “All of us remember President Dole and President McCain and President Romney. Those are good men. They are decent men. But when you don’t stand and draw a clear distinction, when you don’t stand for principle, Democrats celebrate.”

These might not be the presidents you have in mind but that idea of taking a stronger stance is appealing. Nonetheless, will Cruz’s “familiar call for conservatives to hold true to their principles” be enough?

The real problem is tactics according to Paul Ryan at CPAC 2014 (which is something our Paul agrees with.) Ryan acknowledges that the party is “messy”, “noisy” and “a little uncomfortable” but it’s “creative tension”:

“The way the left tells it, the Republican Party is in a civil war,” Ryan said. “It’s tea party versus establishment, libertarians versus social conservatives. There’s infighting, conflict, backbiting, discord. Look, I’m Irish — that’s my idea of a family reunion.”

“What I see is a vibrant debate. We’re figuring out the best way to apply our principles to the challenges of the day. Sure, we have our disagreements, and yes, it can get a little passionate. I like to think of it as creative tension. For the most part, these disagreements have not been over principles or even policies. They’ve been over tactics.”

However, who will be the real leader to pull the “family” together?

Every year the CPAC closes with a straw poll to get a feel for what conservatives are looking for in a strong leader. Rand Paul rocked that vote last year with no one even coming close except for Marco Rubio.

Will he be the all-star conservative at the top this year too for CPAC 2014? C’mon, who would you vote for given the choice? Show your support for “a strong leader” below or on our Facebook page!

 

 
(Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore, via Flickr Creative Commons CC BY-SA 2.0)

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