For those of you wondering why I haven’t blogged in recent weeks, I have been extremely busy with my senior year of college (blame those pesky midterms!), editor duties for TheCollegeConservative, and maintaining a social life (Yes, having one is possible at this reputed university).
Last week, I had the distinct pleasure of attending my first CPAC conference. I did not attend the conference in years’ prior for a whole host of reasons, but am grateful I attended it this year. I saw many of my activist friends, twitter pals, and met some terrific individuals.
Unlike most of my peers, I worked the event for several media organizations – namely TheCollegeConservative (where I currently edit and contribute articles) and Red Alert Politics. I joined my fellow TCC editors Zach, Sydney, Kevin and our star writer Christine in this adventure. What transpired can be summed up in one word: amazing.
Having media credentials at CPAC has many perks: access to a private lounge, opportunities to meet/mingle with heavy-hitters of the conservative movement, and refreshments…A blogger’s haven, indeed!
In between blogging/reporting for my respective media organizations, I was able to meet some distinguished commentators and op-ed writers. I met Washington Examiner’s Philip Klein and Charlie Spiering; Townhall.com’s Katie Pavlich; Tea Party Nation’s Judson Phillips; Right Wing News’ John Hawkins; Eye on Politics; Franklin Center’s Tabitha Hale; Misfit Politics’ Brandon Morse and Cole Streeper; Accuracy In Media’s Benny Johnson; FreedomWorks’ Kristina Ribali; Girls Just Wanna Have Guns’ Regis Giles; and many more. And my time in the media lounge (and at CPAC) wouldn’t be complete without seeing the gentlemen of The Other McCain (Robert Stacey McCain and Chris Smith), who inducted me into the Axis of Fedora.
CPAC certainly allows attendees to interact with some big-name conservatives, as well. Sightings that I can attest to? Fox News’ Bret Baier (Special Report) and Jesse Watters (The O’Reilly Factor); former presidential candidates Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, and Rick Perry; UK MEP Daniel Hannan; U.S. senatorial candidates Ted Cruz (TX) , Daniel Bongino (MD), and Richard Mourdock (IN); Jimmy McMillin (Rent is Too Damn High Guy); Andrew Breitbart and Dana Loesch.
Furthermore, I was able to attend my first Blog Bash event. Set in Microsoft’s HQ in downtown D.C., Blog Bash boasted a fun and hip atmosphere. I caught up with my political godparents, Eagle Forum of San Diego’s Donna and Woody Woodrum – arguably the best conservative activists in all of Southern California; and my good pal James O’Keefe, who was flanked by his ever-growing entourage. I look forward to going to future Blog Bashes!
Another wonderful event I attended was our CollegeConservative dinner. Set in Famous Luigi’s in Foggy Bottom, the dinner brought together all the editors and nearly a third of our staff. It was great to hear and meet many of our talented writers. We wouldn’t be successful without them!
Of course, no conservative event would be complete without the #Occupy crowd attempting to crash the party. Those Marxists are SO creative and original…
Since I couldn’t attend Reaganpalooza this year (I am a month shy of my 21st birthday), I enjoyed a delightful dinner with some Hillsdale friends, new and old, at Le Pain Quotidian Saturday evening. My lovely friend MaryAnn (who interns at Family Research Council) accompanied me to dinner so we could catch up for lost time. You could say it was good ol’ fashioned conservative fun. : )
And my trip to CPAC wouldn’t be complete without a crazy travel or transportation story. Whether it was metro mishaps or dealing with airport bureaucrats, I experienced several awkward encounters and some instances of bad luck (especially on my flight back home). My flight to Denver was deplaned after three hours due to maintenance issues. If I didn’t switch airlines, I would have been stuck in D.C. till 9pm local time. Fortunately, with the help of my mom, I was able to get a new flight through Chicago that safely got me back to San Diego before day’s end. (Aciu labai, mamyte! I’m indebted to you for saving the day and watching over me.)
Although bothersome, these detractors assured me that God works in mysterious ways and that all will work out in the end. When in doubt, I always remember the brave men and women fighting for our freedoms abroad – so whatever qualms I have about transportation or airports are insignificant compared to their sacrifices, pain, and suffering. (God bless the troops!)
If I haven’t mentioned this already, I’m grateful to friends, family members, and cohorts who inspire me to be my best. I would be truly lost without your loyalty, friendship, advice, and reassurance. Look forward to taking this country back with you!
I will return to D.C. this June after I graduate from UCSD…More details on that development shortly. Stay tuned!
On that note, CPAC 2013 or bust!