One of the things that makes being at CPAC very interesting, both from the standpoint of the average attendee and for a reporter and blogger is the fact that you never know when you are going to find yourself next to a person of provenance, an author you admire, a television personality, an activist you’ve seen on TV or a member of the house or senate or candidate for same.
Now in the old pre-gaylord days for a blogger like me, this was actually a lot easier, particularly for that final category, we bloggers were distinct from the MSM in our own area above the stage to the left as you’re facing it and if you were a GOP candidate or member of congress you made it a point to make the to bloggers row where you knew you had friends who would not only give you a fair hearing but would be delighted to speak to you.
With the move to National Harbor and the expansion of the number of bloggers that changed. Bloggers and the MSM media were now together rather than distinct in both our badges and our location meaning that while we were “elevated” in prestige, our access disappeared. Suddenly a GOP candidate or member of congress could no longer by our location in bloggers row where the MSM was not allowed (I have found memories of Maureen Dowd trying to get in and getting kicked out of the old bloggers row, yes we know who you are, get out!) or at a glance at our badges or selves know if we were friend or foe and unless we had personal relationships with such people and their staffs we were locked out and thus had to stumble into such people by luck or skill or both.
This also complicates things for me as I like to interview a lot of attendees in my coverage who look at my badge see “media” and cringe if they don’t recognize or remember me. (Yes folks there IS a reason why I always wear a hat, a twelve-foot scarf and carry cannoli)
Thus yesterday did I find myself after conducting interviews at the far end of Radio Row did I accidentally find myself next to Senator Ted Cruz just as he finished one interview and heading for the NRA TV area for another before going on stage.
As a rule I normally avoid scrums but as I was right there and quickly boxed in I decided to turn on my camera and start recording.
The Senator was answering questions from the media who had grabbed him first and I was quickly surrounded to the point that I wasn’t going anywhere so I looked for an opportunity to ask a question but couldn’t get one in as he slowly navigated the phalanx of fans and media to the NRA area.
At this point I had a decision to make, I was at the front of the barrier with a crowd behind me. I could work away and do something else or wait for the Senator to finish with the NRA and be in a good position to get in a question or two, as I had thought of question that fit my coverage I decided to wait it out and took the time to get in some decades of the Rosary (getting the daily 60 decades is a real problem when you are constantly on the go)
When the senator was finished he posed for a picture or two and he started moving toward the stage entrance area and his handlers were expertly moving people back, but the Senator recognized me, greeted me remembering my support and endorsement early in the campaign and being the man he is and also knowing I do walking interviews granted me a couple of questions as he walked to the stage entrance to the stage.
As always my question were designed to complement my coverage, My first question was to note the contrast I had seen in my interviews with CPAC 2017 attendees who were happy to have beaten Hillary but mixed on Donald Trump and this years’ attendees who if you have been watching my interviews have embraced him. I asked if had earned conservatives support and he listed the administration accomplishments that had done so.
His answer was concise enough for me to get in a second question so I asked him one of the question I’ve asked everyone this year, about the GOP chances for retaining the congress. His answer was pretty much that is was on them, if “we ” that is the congress did what we said we would the GOP voters would turn out, if not then not.
The video is here
Thus CPAC remains the place where with a little luck a mere blogger can score an exclusive, if short, interview with a key senator and player in Washington, but I have to give a lot of credit to the Senator. While he knew I was a public supporter of him very early who stuck with him till the day he pulled out, it was to no great advantage for him to give me that time. He knew it would likely not win him a single vote that he wasn’t about to wow on the stage. But he knew that for a person who makes his money and rep based on hits on the site and hits to DaTipJar that two minutes is invaluable and gave it to me.
You had better believe I’m not going to forget that anytime soon and I submit and suggest to any voters in Texas considering an alternative that if he will remember and reward the support of a blogger like myself, how much more will he remember the conservative who have supported him during the primaries and the voters of Texas who elected him by standing firm behind the conservative principles we embrace?
DaTechGuy at CPAC 2018 The story so far:
Friday Feb 23rd
Thurs Feb 22nd
Wed Feb. 21st
If you don’t want to wait or my blog posts to see my interviews my youtube channel is here.
Full CPAC 2017 list (for those who feel nostalgic) is here
A reminder I have copies of my Book Hail Mary the perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer available at CPAC with me, price $7 and I will happily sign them for you.
Or you can just order it on Amazon
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