October 14, 2007

CLC 07: The Finale

Last night, the Conservative Leadership Conference concluded with an awards banquet and yet another two excellent speakers from whom we had not heard before. The CLC created two awards for their first conference to honor those who work to advance conservative principles, named after former Reagan aide Lyn Nofziger and conservative titan Senator Barry Goldwater.

Introducing the first was former Ambassador Jerry Carmen, who worked closely with Nofziger in and out of the White House. Carmen told some wonderful stories about Nofziger, how dedicated he was to Reagan, and how he always followed his own star on politics. Nofziger criticized the Reagan administration in which he served on more than one occasion, but he did so to remind people of the principles that got them into office. Former Senator Paul Laxalt gave a touching tribute on video. The CLC awarded the Nofziger to Rich Galen, former director of GOPAC and now syndicated columnist.

Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina received the Goldwater award, and Rep. John Shadegg introduced him with a few anecdotes from Goldwater's life. Sanford also gave the keynote speech, and was extremely impressive. I regret not getting a recording of it, as it may have been the most powerful speech of the conference. Andrea Shea-King took a few notes, but I clearly recall Sanford's main themes of courage and tenacity in defense of the values which underscore American liberty.

In his easy and even humble manner, he reminded the audience that fighting for what we believe means being willing to take a few losses. He recalled when he won office in 1994 that the mood was one of mission, but that it didn't last long. Soon, party leadership began saying that the GOP had to start protecting the majority, which Sanford took to mean spening lots of taxpayer money for sake of their own ambitions, rather than reducing spending and strengthening individual liberty for the sake of the taxpayers. He said then, and he says now, that conservatives have to be willing to lose that office if it means accomplishing the reduction of government intrusion -- and that in the end, we lost the majority anyway in a glut of fiscal irresponsibility.

In fact, Sanford was so impressive that it became clear why he just won re-election, and completely unclear why no one considered Sanford as a potential presidential candidate. I admit that I didn't know much about Sanford before tonight. I definitely would like to know more about him now.

Before these fine men took the stage, the CLC gave me an award as well, as the conservative blogger of the year. I took the opportunity to speak to review how far we've already come in giving ordinary citizens an extraordinary voice through the blogosphere, and how far we can go using new technology -- and of course I threw in a plug for BlogTalkRadio, which I believe eventually will just as radically alter the political landscape as blogs have. After Eric Odom prodded me to do so, I talked about the Adscam story and what that meant for the ability of people to force transparency on systems that resist it. Fortunately, I also had the opportunity to point out that the value of these conferences lie in our ability to come together, to talk, to debate, and to build friendships that will sustain us through some of the setbacks we will face in the future, as well as to celebrate the victories.

And, best of all, I got to talk about how much of my effort comes from the support and forbearance of the First Mate. That made this all the more special.


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Comments (12)

Posted by Teresa | October 14, 2007 9:54 AM

Sanford is despised by the Republican lawmakers in SC because he is a rather Ron Paul like character when it comes to spending. Since the state senate is heavily Republican, they wanted a rubber stamp for their various pork projects and Sanford has refused to do it. He has even brought live pigs on the floor of the state senate to make fun of them.

On the other hand, he is really liked by the voters of SC.

Posted by AnonymousDrivel | October 14, 2007 10:02 AM

"Before these fine men took the stage, the CLC gave me an award as well, as the conservative blogger of the year..."

Well that's your headline right there. Those other folks are lightweights! And did the AP cover the event? The reportage may have gotten lost in the cavalcade of "Bush failures."

Posted by AnonymousDrivel | October 14, 2007 10:04 AM

Oops. Almost forgot... CONGRATULATIONS!

Posted by skeptic | October 14, 2007 10:46 AM

Captain Ed - Have they released the CLC straw poll results yet? I'll bet that either Thompson or Romney wins. Or maybe Giuliani or Huckabee or ....

Posted by Fausta | October 14, 2007 11:05 AM

Congratulations, Ed, and you look Mahrveloss!

Posted by KendraWilder | October 14, 2007 11:43 AM

The Captain said:

"....the CLC gave me an award as well, as the conservative blogger of the year."

Congratulations, Ed, for a hard-earned and well-deserved honor, and the recognition for being a citizen journalist in the New Media who excels in his endeavors.

Posted by SCSoxFan | October 14, 2007 1:08 PM

I find Gov. Sanford to be a bit over the top at times and somewhat rigid in his thinking at other times. Regardless, were he better known nationally I think he would be very high on the VP lists this year. I also think he would make a fine President. We here in SC have no idea what he plans to do after he leaves office in 2010 as he has made it clear that he doesn't intend to run for another term. I might also add that he term-limited himself when he was in the House and kept to that promise, even though he could have broken it and been re-elected handily.

Posted by Carol Herman | October 14, 2007 5:37 PM

Captain. They made you wear a suit and tie?

Gee. I can remember the photo you put up, when you were in the White House press room. And, you stood there dressed in a standard polo shirt. A blue one.

Here? I gotta tell ya, I hope the crowd sees that the suit and tie thing isn't derigueur. Nor is the view that ROE is illegal. (It isn't.)

There really are problems out there, now. Given how the majority in congress colapsed in 2006. And, the view for 2008 doesn't appear to be one where fences get mended.

I still think the majority has a lot of influence. And, the MAINSTREAM is what's gonna matter.

Posted by Go Daddy | October 14, 2007 9:09 PM

Mark Sanford has not changed a whit since he won his seat with the class of '94 and that is why he is popular with voters...

During his first term, he voted against a Federal bill that would put sand on the beaches in Myrtle Beach, SC lost through erosion due to unconstrained development. The bill overwhelmingly passed...

Sen Fritz Hollings publicly castigated him for voting "against the people of SC" and his answer was basically "Why should New Yorkers pay for putting sand on our beaches? They have no control over our development?". His vote wasn't based on regional loyalty but rather based on making the Federal government smaller and stronger by reducing wasteful spending.

He is a good man but I think he may be too good for national politics...it would be great if he were the "other" Senator from SC, someone who would pair up very nicely with Jim DeMint...

Posted by ET | October 14, 2007 9:47 PM

Great coverage of the CLC. Congratulations on your recognition as conservative blogger of the year, too. You are number one on my list of daily blogger reading and I'm glad to see others feel the same way. Keep it up; you ARE making a difference.

Posted by brooklyn - hnav | October 15, 2007 9:18 AM

Congratulations on your fine award.

Well Done...

Posted by PalmettoTiger | October 15, 2007 1:56 PM

"We here in SC have no idea what he plans to do after he leaves office in 2010 as he has made it clear that he doesn't intend to run for another term."

He cannot run for another term in SC according to our constitution, Sox.

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