February 26, 2007

Giuliani And CQ At CPAC

Republican front-runner Rudy Giuliani has garnered some mild criticism for maintaining a fairly safe appearance schedule since forming his exploratory committee for his Presidential campaign. Conservatives have wondered when he would begin making appearances at events targeted at the conservative community. They can rest easy now; Giuliani has announced that he will speak at The American Conservative Union's CPAC event this weekend. Patrick Ruffini e-mailed me last night to point out the announcement on The Politico.

If this is Giuliani's coming-out party, he's not alone. Mike Huckabee has been added to the CPAC agenda, a good event for the Arkansas governor. Newt Gingrich has signed up for the closing speech to the conservatives gathered there. Jim Gilmore, the former Governor of Virginia and a Presidential candidate who has not garnered much attention, will also deliver a speech. So far, no word on whether John McCain or Mitt Romney will become last-minute additions to the event, but their representatives will definitely be there.

This is a smart move for Giuliani. He needs to make his debut with conservative groups soon, before a meme of avoidance starts to gain traction. If my earlier experience with Giuliani gives any indication, he'll shine there as he does anywhere he speaks live. Conservatives there will ask tough questions, and I'm interested to see if he decides to engage in a dialogue at CPAC rather than just a speech.

I'm hoping to talk to them all. I'll be attending CPAC for the first time, blogging the event. Starting at 10:00 am on Thursday, I'll be live at CPAC, attending the speeches and reporting on the developments at the conference. I'll be especially interested in the appearances of Giuliani and Gingrich, but I'm looking forward to familiarizing myself and CQ readers with Gilmore, Huckabee, and others. Be sure to keep checking back with CQ for constant updates.

UPDATE: Mitt Romney will also appear at CPAC, on Friday. This is rapidly becoming the can't-miss event for 2007. Glad I decided to go!


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