I’ll finish this series with some fun additional items, that didn’t really fit into the serious topics from the first 8 diaries, then a closing thought.Comedy Night:
One of the highlights of the cruise was a late night discussion, hosted by Jim Geraghty, between Mark Steyn, Jonah Goldberg, and Rob Long. This event was side splitting, and by far the highlight of the cruise. I have 62 minutes of footage from it, however, Jack Fowler, the NR publisher, has asked me not to put it out publicly. He has a valid point that people paid a premium to see it, and it isn’t fair to them to give it away for free. I do think a lot of the people that attended wouldn’t mind, if it let them see it again, but I’m not going to try pushing this rope uphill right now. I am very grateful to Jack for letting me post what I have posted so far (and you should be as well). Perhaps we will find a way for the footage to be available on the National Review site in the future.
Sitting in a bar, anything can happen:
My wife and I were sitting in one of the bars, when we noticed that we now had a discussion group surrounding us of consisting of Jay Nordlinger, Mark Steyn, Jonah Goldberg and Rob Long (funny how that worked out, isn’t it?). Several interesting topics ended up getting tossed around, like Mark Steyn’s visit to a British Fascist where he borrowed his sweater, Rob Long’s story about winning a Golden Globe but not getting the trophy because they wanted him to pay for it, and Jonah Goldberg winning an award from a group that believes in space alien cats. I also got to ask Mark about how much he had to pay in legal costs for the Canadian Witch-hunt Trials. I’m not going to publicize the amount, other than to say he had very significant out of pocket costs. McCall’s also had its own separate costs, since they were tried as separate entities.
Why again do we live in the US?:
I came across a sign in the Bahamas (which you can see in my summary video in Part 1) that explains the Bahamian tax code; no personal income tax, no corporate income tax, no capital gains tax, no sales tax, and no inheritance tax. The minute someone offers me a job where I can work in, and get paid in the Bahamas, I’m becoming an ex-pat.
The RNC chair:
Mitt Romney said he isn’t interested in it. Fred Thompson said he isn’t interested in it. Ken Blackwell is very enthusiastic about Michael Steele as RNC chair.
I talked for a good half hour with Pat Toomey about a number of topics. His children, Pat and Bridgette are the cutest and politest children I think I’ve ever met. Pat is around 6 and Bridgette is about 8. He told a great story about his kids,
Pat’s job is to go out in the morning and bring in the newspaper. So one day he brings it in, I open it up, and spread it on the table. On the cover is a picture of Alan Greenspan, and Pat points to the picture and says, “Daddy, who is that?” I replied, “That is Alan Greenspan, he used to run the Federal Reserve.” Then Bridgette asks, “Is he a conservative like us?” I laughed and said, “Honey he is a very good man, but no he isn’t like us.”
We talked about his primary battle against Specter, and he told me that he really was never upset with Bush for supporting Specter. He said that Karl Rove talked to him personally about it and explained that they had 51 senators at the time, and that if they had supported a challenge to one of them, they would have had a revolt among the rest. Something to keep in mind when we talk about primary challenges to sitting Senators.
I asked him if a conservative can win a statewide race in Pennsylvania any longer, given what happened to Santorum. He is certain that they can. He felt that the mistake Santorum made was allowing himself to be portrayed as a social conservative that was intent on dictating to people what they will be allowed to do. He believes being a SoCon is acceptable in PA, but you have to present it carefully. In his opinion, financial and national security conservatism are political winners in PA.
I also asked how we (specifically RedState) can better interact with Club for Growth. He gave me his business card and told me that the best thing we can do is join the club (I just did it today, it is free). You can find their web site here.
Finally, I asked about his future. Is he going to re-enter politics or remain with Club for Growth? I am assuming that his answer is not for public discussion, but I will say that he is thinking about re-entering politics. We might see him on the ballot again.
This cruise was absolutely fabulous, and well worth every penny. If you have the time and means, I highly recommend that you go on one, you will not be disappointed. The next cruise will be on Holland America’s Noordam in July 2009. It is a 10 day cruise starting in Rome and going through the Greek Isles.
Return to Part 8.
Part 1 includes links to all 9 parts.