National Review Institute Conservative Forum, pt 5
Here is another mini-roundup of the conference. We need to do this in small portions or the enormity of the task might overwhelm us to the point of sniffing glue, and since all we keep around the house is Elmers the entire hypothetical future is too horrible to contemplate.
Kudos to the NR folks. This was a wonderful experience. Whoever's idea it was to hold the meeting deserves a raise, because it was a badly needed jolt to the conservative movement in the U.S., such as it is. From my conversations with attendees, I think everyone went home with some sort of positive vision, or at least a path to run on.
On a blogger level, I got to meet the vivacious and warlike Pamela, as noted earlier. I did not actually get to speak with Pamela for very long because a queue of approximately 12 people quickly formed. By sheer coincidence, all of them were men.
Seriously though, I think her popularity is quite understandable because she taps into the "hot chick battles Islamofascists" archetype within the collective unconscious of western man (and I mean "man" the gender here, not the species).
The other two bloggers I met were of the double-secret variety so you'll get no photos and scant physical descriptions. Sorry, but there is a war on in case you didn't notice:
Ragnar from The Jawa Report probably does not need to keep his identity secret because he is just plain scary, like a character from a Frederick Forsythe or Tom Clancy novel. He would get my vote as "most likely to have a scabbard under his cloak." But appearances are deceiving because it turns out he is a really nice guy and he knitted the cloak himself.
Ace from Ace of Spades also was there. Ace runs the best blog on the planet, as far as I am concerned: It's got just the right mix of intelligent commentary, breaking news, humor, risque and dopey stuff. In short, everything a guy like me needs on a daily basis. I read a lot of blogs but his is the only one I visit several times every day and you should too. The only physical description I'll give is: Think of a cross between Roy Jones Jr. and Keith Moon. A wild man who could nail you to the asphalt with one punch.
Slighly less wild was yesterday's luncheon speaker, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.
Watch Jeb Bush's speech here.
Here's what I now know about Jeb:
- A better communicator than his more famous brother.
- Probably a little better in the functionality department as well.
- Maybe too smart again by half, though: When the word "actuarial" appears in your speech, you might want to change that sentence. When the word appears in your speech more than once, you might want to get another speech, especially if it is going to be delivered right after the audience has eaten lunch.
- Unapologetically pro-illegal immigration. If you want the borders secured and immigration laws enforced, Jeb is NOT your man.
The cocktail party last night was packed, probably over 400 people there. So it really presented an opportunity for the really tall guys to shine.
Fred Thompson and Bill Sammon stood out like two redwoods in a forest of scrub pines.
A Fred Thompson/Bill Sammon ticket would offer some major advantages. To wit:
- "We're really tall!" is not a half-bad campaign theme. Considering what we've ended up with recently, I'd vote on that basis.
- Families across America would tune in just for the spectacle of Fred and Bill in photo ops with Democrats or foreign dignitaries. You can just imagine in households across America: "Honey, the president and vice president will be meeting with the Chinese today. This oughta be good."
- Think of the children.
Here is Byron York.
Did not get to speak with him, unfortunately.
Richard Miniter and NR staffer Alexis, who served as meeting planner for the event.
The staff did a GREAT job - they kept everything on schedule with Mussolini-like exactitude. I know some things about running meetings and these folks are pros.
One suggestion: If there is going to be audience Q and A in the future, the following tactic might help keep the trains running even smoother. It's called the Foghorn Defense.
1) Bring four aerosal-powered foghorns for every audience mike. The devices can be procured from any boating supply store. If you have trouble, I can come up with them.
2) Give a foghorn to four audience members sitting forward and aft of each mike, directly on the aisle.
3) Instruct the audience as follows: "When you get up to ask your question, you will be expected to do so in 30 seconds or less. Each of the people holding foghorns will be permitted to blast you as soon as your speech becomes tiresome or 30 seconds have elapsed, whichever comes first."here is the panel discussion with Jonah Goldberg, Mark Steyn and Rob Long. This was one golden hour, let me tell you. Tomorrow I will get a portion of it on YouTube with video, but give a listen - you won't regret it.
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