October 14, 2007

CLC 07: The Poll Results, And Final Thoughts

When I first agreed to attend the CLC, I thought about how long it had been since I'd been in a Nevada casino. The last time was on my honeymoon in Lake Tahoe, almost 14 years ago, so I wondered whether I'd bother to gamble at all. I finally got a roll of quarters -- and discovered that most machines have no coin slots any more, instead using casino cards for gambling. I finally found one of the few that still accepts coins, and turned the $10 into $33. Since I'm suddenly flush, I decided to treat myself to a buffet breakfast.

In some ways, the CLC has been the same kind of surprise. A first-time event usually suffers from a thin level of organizational skills and a dearth of interesting speakers. The CLC avoided both of these pitfalls, and in fact put on a very strong schedule of events. They drew two presidential candidates -- three, if you include Alan Keyes -- and several hundred attendees. In fact, I think the schedule grew in strength, right through to the ending banquet. Chuck Muth and Eric Odom deserve congratulations for their hard work and obvious success.

The straw poll came out as I would have predicted. Ron Paul had a large contingent of supporters at the CLC, and even though Paul inexplicably ignored this event, they remained loyal to him. He won about a third of the votes and finished far ahead of his competitors. If I recall (this was announced at the dinner), Duncan Hunter finished second, and Romney finished third. Both appeared at the CLC, and both impressed the crowd. Hunter made a bigger impact because he mixed with the crowd, shaking hands and taking the time to talk with the attendees. "Undecided" beat most of the rest of the candidates, and Giuliani came in dead last or just above it.

The big surprise for me was in the friendships I discovered at the CLC. Organizing conservatives usually has more in common with herding cats, and it usually only takes an hour at most before conservatives start squabbling between our various factions. I won't tell you that this didn't happen at the CLC, as it most assuredly did. However, our proximity also allowed us to make connections, dialogue on the core principles at stake, and bring more unity of purpose than most might have guessed.

They're already making plans for CLC '08. I'll be back, and I hope more will join us.


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Comments (15)

Posted by Carol Herman | October 14, 2007 11:54 AM

No one can predict the future.

Civility and meeting might not amount to a hill of beans.

I'd bet that Hllary knows how to collect 49% of the vote. Which will make her run "challenging."

Add to this that the senate loses about 36 senators, who have to go out and vy for re-election. Yeah. Even Wide Stance Larry. Very civil, I'm sure, when you meet this stinking narcisist.

But step back a moment. The democrats are defending 12 seats. The higher number, about 24, is what the republicans have to hope to keep.

Go ahead. Guess. George Allen kept his seat in 2006? Hello. What about a reality check?

Let's say Americans think the republicans "could" turn back ROE, from being the law. To not being the LAW!

People are looking for this? Or is it a small faction, similar to Code Pinker's? Out there as a fringe. You think Hillary is tollerating her loonies? Because I don't.

I think the senate can go to 60 DEMOCRATS. And, then what would you do?

Let's say it comes to picking new supreme court justices. Exactly how does a new president, in either party, put up religious radicals, and gets them "to be seated?"

Again, the future is unknown.

Doesn't mean you can't plan, ahead. (Look how retail stores do it. They plan in June for Christmas. And, if they guess wrong? They go broke.)

Potential nightmares are out there for the GOP. True, the democrats can get beaten. But for something like that? You need an Eisenhower. Who parlayed his "play to the conservatives," into the best thing that happened to the democrats. Ike GREW his own Executive Branch, larger. He added the Housing to the Welfare; and department of education, seats. He jammed his foot down on the "military/industrial" complex. And, he left the GOP having to deal with its "internals."

Where Ronald Reagan does stand out! He ran against Jimmy Crackers Carter. He came from California; a LIBERAL STATE. And, he gained experience in hollywood. It was NOT hard for him to sign into law, LEGAL ABORTIONS, in the State of California two years before ROE became law.

He then played with the religious right, in order to get the republican nomination. (As if the GOP would have survived 4 more years of Carter!)

Give me a break.

Before ROE, people had abortions. Dirty back-alley stuff. And, lots of good Catholic women sought hysterectomies (with all the harms it involves), by the time they turned 32; and no longer wanted any children.)

Oh, by the way. In today's world, the stuff going on with Dobson, and others, does not look to me to be coming from strength.

Larry Craig's unfulfilled promise to quit the Senate, "by intent," ... turned into a lie. YOu really don't win great points for your party ... when your down in the gutter with that stuff.

Posted by KendraWilder | October 14, 2007 12:21 PM

The Captain said:

"Organizing conservatives usually has more in common with herding cats, and it usually only takes an hour at most before conservatives start squabbling between our various factions."

A lot of people from both sides of the political spectrum seem to think that their representative political party should reflect their own personal core values and politics 100%. Of late these internal party conflicts are getting a lot of press, even though this has been the norm historically.

"One Size Fits All" is only applicable for a limited range of clothing lines, and at that it's a stretch because for most people the clothing will either be too loose or too tight, too long or too short. Only a very narrow range in the middle will actually look attractive in the clothing that fits them properly.

Political parties are not intended to be "One Size Fits All", yet that's exactly how both parties are trying to present themselves to the voting public. This is an injustice to their supporters, and at times seems to be blatant pandering.

By the same token, everyday citizens have been led to believe that because they have 'freedom of speech', their opinions should prevail and carry equal weight, to the point of becoming inflexible on most issues.

We're a hugely diverse country, and dividing the voting public into groups of "Left" "Right" and "Moderates/Centrists" does a disservice, and actually fosters the impression that each political party offers "One Size Fits All".

Somehow we have to move away from the inflexibility that individual political activism fosters, and work to start restoring a balance involving compromise and respect for our differences while honoring our strengths and making them work well together.

Posted by RBMN | October 14, 2007 12:37 PM

Paraphrasing some columnist, "A third of the experts I talk to deserve a column, which most times they won't get, another third deserve a place in my file cabinet, at most, and the rest deserve a "howya doing?" the next time I bump into them, by accident."

Posted by hunter | October 14, 2007 12:39 PM

If your event was organized in such a way that Paulistas highjacked it, then it was a wasted event.

Posted by Tex MacRae | October 14, 2007 2:22 PM

How could the Ron Paul Revolution "hijack" this event? They're just a bunch of internet spammers aren't they?

Posted by Carol Herman | October 14, 2007 3:02 PM

A better lesson is to look at 30 years worth of failures; where today's GOP is still a "minority party." Even though the competition from the democrats is so lame!

There seems to be a reason conservatives are stuck on teaching their bible lessons to those who don't want this "church" gaining any ground.

So organize all you want. And, yes, it's probably more "thrilling" that the people inside this bubble are "polite." But why expect it any different for the Code Pinkers? I bet as a group, when they're together, they're also polite.

The Code Pinkers wasted a lot of energy (and George Soros' money), on the thought they'd galvanize public opinion "to kill bush."

Nothing of the sort, happened.

And, Roe? Didn't die, either. If anything it has gone mainstream. And, is one of the tools in the toolkit of obstetrics, for when nature goes terribly wrong.

It's also not something you're gonna "kill." Though Clarence Thomas lied through his teeth, when he was asked about this, at his confirmation hearing. You've got quite a few justices, these days, wearing their black robes; after having lied through their teeth to get there.

By the way, the REAL THREAT AHEAD, for those who can get to focus; is that the senate goes up for grabs in 2008. And, what has the GOP got? Wide Stance Larry? Plus, 23 other seats that need defending.

If you think killing Roe is the best way to defend those seats, good luck to ya. It sure ain't mainstream politics!

And, it seems to forget the harms that came to women when religion really held sway! Heck, pharmacists had to hide their boxes of condoms!

Women chose hysterectomies as a method of birth control!

You think you're gonna go back to telling time the old way? Fuhgetaboutit.

Though this tack does make Hillary happy.

See? The country's already split their votes into what you see, today, in congress. Are politicians too stupid to do the math?

Or is it that those who support Ron Paul, and those who support killing Roe, are fools cut from the same cloth?

That's okay. Multi-culti doesn't work, either. But people still figure it all out.

Posted by skeptic | October 14, 2007 3:20 PM

"Or is it that those who support Ron Paul, and those who support killing Roe, are fools cut from the same cloth?"

Ron Paul believes that Roe was an incorrect decision based upon faulty arguments. He believes that abortion should be decided at the state level, a position that Fred Thompson has also supported. Funny how Fred is a federalist and Ron Paul is the nut. Dr. Paul had plenty of opportunities to legally perform abortions and refused. No doubt he could have profited from the abortion business. His actions here speak louder than anybodies words, especially those that have had recent conversions.

Maybe if you spent less time composing rambling postings and actually researched the record you would have known this.

Posted by Rose | October 14, 2007 7:24 PM

Duncan Hunter won the Texas straw poll, as well, by a 2 - 1 margin over the 2nd place winner.

I wish we had a field of such men as Duncan to choose from.

Posted by skeptic | October 14, 2007 8:56 PM

Straw polls don't count unless one of the "top-tier" candidates wins. Otherwise, its been spammed.

Posted by JohnMcC | October 14, 2007 9:13 PM

Let me see...the 'Conservative Leadership Conference' went to RonPaul and DuncanHunter.
And who exactly are the 'conservatives' that are being led?

Silly silly wingnuts....

Posted by Richard Disney | October 15, 2007 6:14 AM

Ed, it was great to meet you at CLC07! Thanks for attending and we will see you next year!

Posted by CRABBY APPLE MICK LEE | October 15, 2007 6:15 AM

As one can quickly gather in political gatherings as well as some of these posts, all this talk about "One Size Fits All" political parties, "we have to move away from the inflexibility that individual political activism fosters" and "conservatives are stuck on teaching their bible lessons to those who don't want this "church" gaining any ground" is about one issue and one issue alone: abortion.

All this caterwauling is claiming that to gain the public's support Republicans must make pro-lifers just one "interest" group among others. This is a "promise" no one will be able to collect. This is a claim--and a self-serving claim at that. It also makes little sense. Are we suppose to marginalize "one issue" pro-lifers for the sake of the "one issue" pro-choice faction who supposedly have refrained from the rest of Conservative/Republican movement because of this single issue? If it's really all supposed to be about limited government and lower taxes, one would think those who don't like the "social-issues" activism could bracket all that off and support the only party that advances their primary causes.

The truth is the "pro-choice" crowd object to the presence of pro-lifers as an identifiable group within the Republican Party at all. The only acceptable position for the Republican Party is to be in practice "pro-choice".

Pro-lifers can't even get a hearing in the Democrat party. The Republican Party is the only major political organization that puts forward the pro-life issue. It has been the aim of the entire pro-choice movement to separate the Republican Party from those who seek the abolition of abortion so that any hint that abortion is a crucial issue would not find its way onto the central political stage. This is being sold as a way of winning hearts and minds for the Republicans; but there is no love for the Republican Party here. If the Republicans lose the support of the "social issues" movement that will just be their tough luck.

Incidentally, will someone tell the Ron Paul crowd they don't own the Constitution? It must be neat to believe that other people don't think like you because they never have read the founding document. Why else would the "Ron Pauls" of America feel the need to give civics lessons to everyone else?

Posted by mimk | October 15, 2007 7:31 AM

Wow, CLC going for Ron Paul. This is bad.

We will not win in 2008, and in 2012, many more conservatives will have died off. There just aren't making them anymore.

Guess we are "the stupid party." Conservatives never could play the game "Politics" very well anyway.

Posted by Stephen Fountain | October 15, 2007 8:52 AM

The actual were results were:
Ron Paul

Mitt Romney

Duncan Hunter

Duncan Hunter came in third, not second. Although it was close. For full results go here:


Posted by Al Dove | October 15, 2007 2:17 PM

Tex asked, "How could the Ron Paul Revolution "hijack" this event? They're just a bunch of internet spammers aren't they?"

Yeah, Tex, we are just a bunch of spammers. We've spammed up about nine million dollars so far. The plan is to do another nine million, and then start spamming primaries. Look for us in New Hampshire. We're also thinking about Iowa and South Carolina.

I wonder if the MSM's stories will still ignore the winner.

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