First of all, I don’t hate New Orleans. For as much trashtalk as I heard about this city (Melissa Clouthier referred to it as a “pit of despair”), it’s beautiful. I love the architecture and the colors and the music… and the FOOD.
Tony Perkins makes me want to kick things. He starts out on a slight roll, ripping the Democrats on health care, etc. Then BAM – he starts going off on gays. All I could think was seriously, Tony? Way to focus on the stuff that a) makes Republicans look like jerks b) is a huge political loser and c) alienates a whole lot more people more people than it will ever impress. It was disheartening to hear what I hoped would be a rejuvenated sounding party kick off the conference with anti-gay rhetoric. Just shut up.
Sarah Palin was much better than I’ve seen her recently. I’ve been openly skeptical of her for a while now, as anyone who follows me on Twitterprobably knows. Her focus was very much on energy policy, and it was nice to see her in her wheelhouse. She was obviously talking about stuff she had a solid handle on for once, instead of the talking points someone handed her, and it was refreshing. She ripped the administration on spending, and hypocritical environmental policies.
Bobby Jindal was solid. He gave a lousy GOP response last year and was quickly dumped by most people who were looking to him as a leader. Either he’s been brushing up on his delivery skills or just plays better in a group with an audience. Or both. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still boring, but I think politically, he’s brilliant. He put to rest rumors of a 2012 run, and for that I am grateful. He gave a Louisiana focused speech and assured his constituents that he has the job that he wants. I know he isn’t perfect, and that boring won’t play in a 2012 election, but I’m not giving up on Jindal yet.
Andrew Breitbart is an asset to the movement. Even though he infuriates me sometimes and is relatively offputting, he fires people up and is willing to be the lightening rod. We need someone to be the flamethrower, so say the things that most are afraid to say. He did that today, and his humor and filter-less approach behind the microphone brought much needed energy to the afternoon.
Then there was Rick Perry, who easily gave the speech of the day. I’d never seen him speak before, but had heard good things. He was on fire – incredibly charismatic and passionate. My ADHD kicked in at that point, so to be perfectly honest, I processed very little of what he was actually saying. It happens. But I had trouble not watching him. The fact that he’s not a bad looking man didn’t hurt.
Anyway, the mood is good around here. Which I guess is to be expected – I’m slightly disappointed in the focus on worn out candidates (if Romney is our nominee, I’m going to blow a gasket) and the social issues that frankly, should be taking a backseat to things like health care, cap and trade, and taxes.