Well. That was anticlimactic.

CPAC announced they were inviting Trump last week, ostensibly because his “previous CPAC appearance was hugely popular” and “he’s an American patriot and success story with a massive following among small government conservatives” (small-government conservatives, say what?); but if, as Allahpundit speculated, this was supposed to be some kind of rip-roaring tirade against Obama or Karl Rove or whatever Tea-Party enemy du jour designed to get everyone into the ballroom bright and early and get the crowd revved up… it wasn’t. Trump did hit Karl Rove (“When you spend $400 million and it’s a failure, and you don’t have one victory, you know there’s something seriously, seriously wrong”), but for all the media attention Trump’s presence received, the people actually attending the conference weren’t all that excited. The ballroom was not at all full and there was some mildly assenting polite applause, at best.