Internet access has been kind of spotty, so please forgive the limited updates today. Of course, even with the fastest internet in the world, I doubt we’d be on the computer much — there’s just way too much going on. Here’s the basic rundown so far:
- CPAC this year is big. Really big. Last year 10,000 people registered, and this year’s even larger. The number I’ve heard is 12,000 registrants!
- But the good news is, YAL and Campaign for Liberty have an even bigger presence this year than last year. With a total of five booths between both organizations, “Liberty Row” is perpetually the busiest spot in the entire Exhibit Hall. Better yet, there are over 1,100 liberty activists registered — including more than 700 YAL students! In fact, to our knowledge, YAL has the largest single student contingent in all of CPAC.
- The straw poll results won’t be announced until the end of Saturday, but already controversy is swirling around Ron Paul. Taking the stage right before Rand Paul, Donald Trump declared to a booing crowd: “Ron Paul cannot get elected. I’m sorry.” Not surprisingly, this story is already huge news, as Trump himself is apparently mulling a presidential run. Watch Trump’s comments here.
- Senator Rand Paul spoke to a packed house — so packed, in fact, that many were denied entrance to the ballroom where he spoke. I was unfortunately among those who couldn’t get in to see the younger Dr. Paul, but he spoke on not being co-oped by DC insiders, chided the GOP for not cutting the budget enough, pushed hard for defense cuts despite the conservative crowd, and even took a playful swipe at Donald Trump in defense of his father while later speaking with CNN.
- Still on the books for tonight: Liberty Forum, with both Ron and Rand Paul, followed by YAL’s first after-party. If you’re at CPAC — or even just in DC — we hope to see you there!
UPDATE: YAL’s giant political philosophy chart already has about 500 responses, and fewer than 100 of those are out of the liberty quadrant. Freedom is popular!