To paraphrase Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell in his speech here this morning, it is not only appropriate but wise to revisit and closely examine last November’s defeat in the interest of learning from past mistakes — but most of the CPAC messages so far have focused on optimism for the future, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry pretty much crushed it with the crowd with his declaration that America can’t possibly have rejected conservatism the past couple of cycles, because we haven’t actually nominated conservatives.

…Enter Mitt Romney. I’m thinking this could get a little on the awkward side, considering that the theme of this whole shindig is “America’s future: The next generation of conservatives” and half of the speakers are up-and-comers just trying to move us the heck on from that electoral disaster, so I’m pretty curious to see how Mitt plays it.

Also today: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who laid out his ambitious plan for tax reform in his state on Thursday, and my Townhall colleague Guy Benson will be emceeing for the early afternoon — good times all around.