CPAC 2022: Friday features speakers declaring America’s greatness
CPAC 2022 ratcheted up the star power on Friday. The list of speakers was long and impressive – full of political dignitaries, ambassadors, and stars. The Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Florida was buzzing from morning into the night and the following morning.
Things got politically rocking in the morning as former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took the stage.
While there is plenty to criticize about the current administration, Secretary Pompeo focused on what the Trump administration got right. He reminded the public that the Trump administration took out Qasem Soleimani. He also reminded the world that Trump delivered on his promise to move the United States embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Pompeo needled the media that spent four years doing backflips to avoid giving Trump and his team an ounce of credit for everything. Pompeo reminded us all that the Trump administration got plenty of big things right on the foreign policy front.
Like Pompeo, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem is also a top-tier 2024 presidential contender.
Governor Noem started out with some humor, letting the crowd in sunny Florida know that “Temperatures (in South Dakota) are almost as low as (Joe) Biden’s approval rating.” She then tore into the Biden administration for their many failed decisions that led to Russia invading Ukraine.
Noem gave a sharp contrast between conservatism favoring freedom and leftism favoring authoritarianism. She reminded the crowd that even during the worst early months of Covid, South Dakota never closed. She trusted her citizens to do the right thing, and they did.
With BREXIT in the rearview mirror, Nigel Farage remains a hero to conservatives everywhere.
That heroism was tested when Farage told the crowd what they needed to hear rather than what they wanted to hear. He let the crowd know that it was a senseless political strategy for the GOP to keep looking backward and discussing the 2020 election as stolen.
He reminded the crowd that Americans have always been forward-looking people. They are worried about food and gasoline prices and want to know what the Republicans will do to fix those vexing problems should they win back Congress.
Farage invoked Ronald Reagan’s “shining city on a hill” mantra to implore conservatives to offer a positive optimistic vision rather than just complaining.
As the day ended and the moon replaced the sun, a pair of dinner parties brought at very diverse speakers.
The Ronald Reagan Dinner had what may have been the strangest combination of keynote speakers. Radio commentator Glenn Beck offered the expected political red meat. The other guest was a surprise.
Former Hawaii Congresswoman and 2024 presidential contender Tulsi Gabbard is the furthest thing from a conservative. She is a hardcore leftist.
Yet because she presents herself in a very moderate package, she has become a darling to some conservatives. Congresswoman Gabbard frequently criticizes her own party. She has also been very critical of those who demonize conservatives just for being conservative. Gabbard understands the difference between enemies and political opponents.
Her frequent appearances on Fox News and her CPAC speech hardly make her anything close to a conservative. Yet in this polarized climate, her kindness goes a long way toward building bridges.
With Friday night being the Jewish sabbath, the Young Jewish Conservatives had their biggest Shabbos dinner at CPAC to date.
A host of political dignitaries and heavy hitters addressed the crowd. Glenn Beck’s favorite Rabbi Daniel Lapin offered words of Torah wisdom before and during the dinner.
Florida Senator Rick Scott is leading the fundraising efforts to help Republicans win back the Senate. Yet Scott devoted the bulk of his remarks to reiterate his staunch support for Israel and Jews while he was Florida Governor. Being against anti-Semitism is not complex, but Senator Scott offered concrete actions of what he did to root anti-Semitism out during his two terms as governor.
Former Acting Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell is an evangelical Christian, but he spoke movingly of his mother’s love for Israel.
More importantly, Grenell knows what it is like to be part of a marginalized group. Grenell is gay, and he offered a common bond to strengthen both communities. He would forever stand with the Jewish community to fight anti-Semitism.
All he asked for in return was that the Jewish community stand with him in combating anti-gay bigotry. While some of the Orthodox Jews in the room may disagree with Grenell on social issues, there was only support for his effort to combat all bigotry and discrimination.
Former Ambassador to Denmark Carla Sands, wife of the late real estate mogul Fred Sands, announced her entry into the Republican primary race to replace retiring Senator Pat Toomey.
While former Ambassador to Israel David Friedman was received enthusiastically.
Ambassador Friedman played an indispensable role in helping President Trump launch the Abraham Accords. For all of Trump’s bluster, Friedman noted that he would one day be remembered by history as an unlikely but successful peacemaker.
The most moving part of the night came near the end of the YJC dinner. ACU Executive Director Dan Schneider dropped a bombshell on the crowd that was beautiful and meaningful. Despite having a Jewish-sounding last name, Schneider was raised a baptist. He publicly announced for the very first time that he was officially converting to Judaism.
He credited YJC mainstays David Milstein and Rabbi Yitzchok Tendler with helping him with his spiritual journey toward Judaism.
CPAC Saturday is supposed to have more diverse speakers.
Radio host Mark Levin will be addressing the YJC. Yet for most of the thousands of CPAC attendees, the only show in town will be Trump. The big dog is expected to speak Saturday evening, and anticipation was already building Friday evening. The relatively relaxed atmosphere was expected to give way to heavy security.
Trump tends to use up the entire supply of oxygen in the room, so it was good that Saturday night was his night of choice.
By his not speaking on Friday, attendees got to hear from a fantastic group of speakers that would have had their messages crowded out otherwise.
Saturday night will be all about Trump, which is expected given his still significant influence today. Yet conservatism is bigger than any one person. CPAC Friday was able to appeal to all of the factions of conservatism from the Trump loyalists to those interested in the movement in addition to the man.
About the Author:
Brooklyn-born, Long Island raised, and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a politically conservative columnist, blogger, author, public speaker, satirist, and comedian. But he lives for football. Particularly the Raiders.
Follow CommDigiNews at