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The 2011 CPAC Experience: 68 Pictures

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Posted on February 15 2011 9:30 am
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Fri: Day 2 Of CPAC

Ah, day 2…when the early stages of exhaustion begin to set in. So, what do you do when you’re stressed? Why you squeeze an Obama, Pelosi, or Biden stress ball, of course.

I’m declaring those to be the coolest pieces of swag from the conference, even though, for reasons I still don’t fully comprehend, I could never find the Weekly Standard booth where they were supposed to have been giving them away.

That morning, I was happy to be one of about 15 media members who were allowed into a private session with Tim Pawlenty.

The session ran about 45 minutes and my goal, while I was in the room with him, was to evaluate whether he has what it takes to win the presidency. Here are my thoughts on Pawlenty: He’s a competent, conservative governor of a key state. He was a supporter of global warming alarmism, which was a big negative, but he’s now flat out saying that he’s changed his mind about that. I can respect that. Pawlenty is not a particularly charismatic guy, which is his biggest weakness. However, I was very impressed with the breadth and depth of his answers, particularly on foreign policy where you might expect a governor to be a little weak at this point in the cycle. Could Tpaw be a legit contender despite the lack of charisma? Sure. How charismatic were Nixon, Carter, Bush 1 or Bush 2? As often as not, Presidents don’t have raw charisma. The key for Tpaw is to find a way to break out of the pack and catch people’s interest. So far, he hasn’t found the sort of hook he’ll need to make people take a good long look at him — but, it’s still very early.

David Horowitz dropped by the bloggers’ lounge and it was great to meet him in person.

David Horowitz and Kristinna Ribali.

Hawt CPAC Rumor #4: Sarah Palin was in the building

Continue reading at Right Wing News.

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