This little shindig will be across the street from the hotel at a bar along the river walk. Meet up at the hotel lobby around 7 pm and then come over to the bar!
Past Blog Bashes have helped launch the political careers of folks like Mike Lee and Mia Love both of Utah. The Blogbash at Redstate will be a celebration of these successes!
CPAC 2012 seemed surreal. The event was anchored by two staunch conservatives.
Thursday, Governor Rick Perry gave a rousing speech with multiple standing ovations. Saturday, Governor Sarah Palin gave a barn burner of a speech, firing up the crowd. She deftly dealt with protesters. She painted a soaring vision.
Sandwiched in between these speeches: Moderately interesting political speeches from Santorum, then Mitt, then Newt.
Internet connectivity was spotty to an enraging degree. I couldn’t write, upload, and sometimes even tweet. Any coverage I did give, came via my phone and 3G.
Aside: This is the fourth time I’ve been to CPAC and this is the fourth time the internet has been a problem. If they want their event to be reported effectively, you’d think the organizers would make the investment into some serious bandwidth.
A couple people asked me how I felt CPAC compared to years past. Well, in 2008, Mitt Romney got out of the race at CPAC and there were multitudes of weeping Romneybots there. Mitt Romney still won the straw poll that year.
Romney edged out Santorum for the CPAC Straw Poll this year. In years past, paid Romneybots or Ronulans stuffed the vote. It was a competition to see who could win. The Straw Poll has never mattered, but the press loves to blab about it anyway. That Santorum came so close to winning this year is somewhat significant. He must have some organic following amongst the faithful to even compete with Romney’s Straw poll ballot-stuffing machine.
Generally, the energy just didn’t seem to be there for CPAC this year–not like I think it should be during an election year. Does it concern me for November? Yes, it does. This should be a shoe-in year for Republicans. I’m afraid it’s going to be close because our candidates can’t articulate a clear, inspiring vision. We’ll see.
Some fun moments included the Paul Begala – Tucker Carlson slap fight, Andrew Breitbart’s rousing speech and the promo for the Hating Breitbart movie, and Steve Crowder and Chris Loesch’s parody rap (watch for the N-word–lefties fell right into the trap).
Mostly, CPAC is about networking. On that account, it was a spectacular success.
Some years back, Hillary Clinton groused about a “vast right-wing conspiracy”. That statement was laughable when she said it. Now, there’s a right-wing network. No, it’s not the top-down MMFA-Obama machine fueled by Journolist like on the left. The more a patchwork of people who tolerate each other and work together when forced to achieve a useful end. Ever try to rangle a hoard of one-man-bands? Well. The bands are starting to become aware of one another, work together, and help promote each other’s work. It’s heartening.
A couple events help with that. For the third year, Ali Akbar, Aaron Marks and I decided to torture ourselves by throwing a party for bloggers. Microsoft on the dreaded K-street hosted and the party was an alcohol-soaked success. As John Brodigan says, the proponents of limited government are not for limited alcohol. See also karaoke.
At the Blogbash awards were given by and for bloggers. They weren’t the only ones. The TeaParty.net presented some awards, too.
Winners included Michelle Malkin (legacy award), Andrew Breitbart (changing the narrative — Weiner Press Conference), Ezra Dulis (video–Attack Watch), Jimmie Bise (podcast–The Delivery), RB Pundit (Twitter–@RBPundit), Peter List (Activism — unions), Lisa DePasquale (friend of bloggers), Jason Hart (state level blogger of the year — Ohio politics), True The Vote & Catherine Englebrecht (bloggers stand with), James O’Keefe & Project Veritas (Sunlight–New Hampshire voter registration fraud) and John Sexton who won both investigative post AND Blogger of the year for work at Verum Serum with Morgen Richmond.
One heartening part of CPAC: Hollywood types are starting to come out of the closet. Kirk (Growing Pains) Cameron spoke for the first time. Allen Covert and Dan Kessler launched their patriotic iPhone/iPad app CherryTree for children. I saw Chuck Wollery on Radio Row.
CPAC seemed better and more discouraging than in past years. Better because it was wonderful to make more new friends and renew old acquaintances. Worse because I believe that the country is moving leftward both morally and fiscally to our eventual demise. Conservative actions are spreading locally and at the state level. Nationally, conservatism is voiceless and leaderless and that’s too bad.
Blogbash was created for one purpose: to honor the unpaid, activist bloggers who are making a huge difference in the conservative movement. They are, as Pamela Gellar said, “the ones who will change the world.”
This year, we’re adding something special: A tangible way for bloggers to honor bloggers by nominating posts, blogs, tweets, podcasts for awards. Seeing all the amazing things bloggers have done over 2011 in one place is inspiring.
Below, you’ll find the nominations for the different awards and you bloggers will be able to vote for the winners.
You’ll also note the categories of awards to be chosen by committee.
This is so exciting! Please tweet this post and share all the great work bloggers are doing!
See you Thursday!
(The Right Sphere) Brandon Kiser, Editor and (Tea Party Brew) Dennis Pedrie, Editor — Greater Food Bank of Boston/Occupy Boston, encouraging readers to donate
(RedState) Breanne Howe, Writer
(LaborUnionReport) Peter List, Writer
James O’Keefe, Project Veritas, New Hampshire Voter Fraud Expose
Matt Boyle, Daily Caller, Fast & Furious
Doug Powers, at Michelle Malkin on Solyndra
Best in Show: Podcast
Best in Show: Twitter
Best in Show: Video
In addition, there are more awards that will be awarded, selected by a Blog Bash panel of your esteemed colleagues, including:
Best State-level Blogger
Changing the Narrative
Friend to Bloggers (Julie Laughridge Award)
Bloggers Stand With…
We will honor one pioneer blogger with the Legacy Award. And, of course, we will honor the Blogger of the Year.
Learn more at Blogbash.org
Three years ago, I thought it would be cool to do something fun for bloggers at CPAC. Everyone was gathering there, why not have a casual get-together for people who work so hard.
In fact, my thought was little more than a Tweet-up sort of deal. Ha!
Turns out, I wasn’t the only one thinking about doing something for bloggers. Ali Akbar, who himself, a young blogging buck, along with Aaron Marks, a young finance and tech genius who helped online fundraising for elections, also wanted to do something for bloggers.
So, we three started Blogbash. Like most things in my life, it started as a modest idea and morphed into something else entirely–sponsors, food, drink, cake, swag, speeches, awards.
Blogbash became a thing.
We continued the tradition last year. And this, year, Ali, Aaron, and I have been working nearly full time putting together the best Blogbash yet. Hours of work, endless conference calls, dealing with caterers, procuring bartenders –and we’re doing it all from out of state. Aaron is in Pittsburg. Ali is in Dallas by way of Georgia. I’m here, north of Houston.
We have helpers (learn more about everyone here): Devon Wills has worked on getting bags, shirts and other things printed up. Others like Lyndsey Fifield and Abby Alger will help organize in DC. In other words, it takes lots of work by lots of dedicated people to pull this off.
It’s important, too, to know that some groups have loyally supported bloggers by way of Blogbash–Freedom Works is chief among these. We are gratified to have their help again. We’ve had new supporters, too, like Heritage Foundation, Injustice the Film, etc.
This year, we’ve had groups clamoring to support the bloggers–some candidates, more industry groups. This is heartening for the conservative movement as a whole. Many industry groups have been afraid to “come out” for fear of punishment by the Obama administration.
Please go take a look at this (still incomplete) list of sponsor Blogbash.org/sponsors/.
Please make sure and thank them and remember them. Blogbash approached nearly every single group who asks bloggers to pimp their stories, candidates, ideas, etc. With sponsorships as low as $300, it didn’t take much to participate.
Finally, this year, we’re adding to the already big party atmosphere of BlogBash. Bloggers can nominate their peers.
Best Investigative Post
Best Activism Post
Best Sunlight Post
Best in Show: Podcast
Best in Show: Twitter
Best in Show: Facebook Fanpage
Best in Show: Video
Conservative bloggers are doing amazing work shining the light in dark places, causing real change. They are making a difference. Please nominate the posts, podcasts, social media stars. They will be voted on AT the party.
What started out as a friendly get together, has become that and much more–an event filled with surprise guests, renewed relationships, and rewards recognizing our peers phenomenal work.
It’s been an honor to put this together. Unlike the left, where the blogging community is almost entirely corporate, now, on the right, bloggers tend to be unpaid and independent.
Blogbash is a yearly token of appreciation for hard work and sacrificial commitment.