CPAC 2012 ended this evening following its annual straw poll and this year′s keynote speaker, Sarah Palin. Mitt Romney won the straw poll with 38% to Rick Santorum′s 31%, with Newt Gingrich at 15% and Ron Paul at 12%. The Washington Times also conducted a national phone survey of just Conservatives where Romney also won with 27%, Sanorum at 25%, Gingrich at 20% and Paul at just 8%. Grover Norquist spoke to the audience just before the straw poll results were announced, echoing the feeling by many that while it is vital to elect Conservatives to the House and Senate, any Republican will do in the White House. But Sarah Palin wants it all, with a clean sweep of people with genuine Conservative convictions in their hearts and minds.
Palin′s CPAC speech was awesome! She spoke for 35 minutes, interrupted numerous times by waves of applause and 14 standing ovations! A group of Occupiers also tried to interrupt her, but the crowd shouted them down chanting ″USA!″ while the Occupiers chanted ″UNFAIR!″ as they were escorted out of the ballroom. Palin began her speech going right after Barack Obama and his Socialist agenda. She said of government under Obama, it is ″too big to succeed.″ Sarah got great laughs when she joked about hope and change with ″Ya gotta hope for change.″ Palin also mocked Obama′s recent State of the Union message of ″an America built to last″ with her own ″an economy built to grow!″
She did not limit her ire against Obama alone, but against the whole Washington ″permanent political class″ as well. Palin attacked the government corruption and crony capitalism we have seen flourishing under Obama. Sarah said that many new politicians who win their campaigns railing against the Washington cesspool are corrupted when they find it to be a hot tub. Palin′s answer to them is it is ″time to drain the jacuzzi and throw the bums out!″ She said 2010 was a good start in electing Tea Party candidates, but that we need to elect even more and win the Senate as well. Then Senate may be achieved soon as Norquist pointed out during his speech that during the next two election cycles, 44 Democrat Senate seats will be up for grabs, with 23 vulnerable this year.
All in all, Sarah Palin delivered a great keynote speech at CPAC 2012. The straw poll results, and those of the Washington Times national phone survey, showed Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum as the two main candidates at the moment. The annual Conservative convention for political activists was a good one overall and important during this 2012 election season. We will see how well they, as well as like minded folks in the Conservative and Tea Party movements will impact the campaigns this November.