The first day of CPAC was largely made interesting thanks to the work of Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) supporters. The second day will likely be memorable for the same reason.
Paul’s supporters staged a protest during Dick Cheney’s “surprise” appearance with Donald Rumsfeld near the end of the day yesterday, walking out en masse as the Bush administration stars took the stage. It was the dramatic highlight of a day that was mainly about the will-they-or-won’t-they presidential contenders Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and Donald Trump.
This afternoon, expect another raucous scene when Ron Paul himself takes the stage.Paul’s upset win in last year’s CPAC presidential straw poll marked a shift here from social conservatives to the more libertarian-leaning type of attendee — though there are many of the latter type still here. Team Paul hopes to win another straw poll this year, and they’re here in big numbers to do it.
Paul’s just one of many 2012ers on the docket today. This morning brings Mitt Romney — who usually gives a fiery, one-liner filled speech at CPAC — and the rest of the day brings Sen. John Thune (R-SD), Tim Pawlenty, Gov. Mitch Daniels (R-IN) and RGA chair Rick Perry (who’s not running for president…yet).
Other speakers include Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), a member of the Senate Tea Party Caucus, and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) — a big name among conservatives.
But Paul’s speech — and the rock star reception he’s likely to receive from his fans here — will probably be the highlight.