2016 kickoff: Covering Iowa's Freedom Summit

Are you ready for some primaries? The 2016 presidential campaign kicks off in Iowa on Saturday, when most of the still-evolving Republican field comes to Des Moines for the Freedom Summit, staged by Citizens United and Rep. Steve King, and sponsored in part by Townhall. It promises to be a sparkling showcase for the 2016 hopefuls, which will also feature conservative firebrand Sarah Palin:

Citizens United and Congressman Steve King are teaming up to bring grassroots activists from across Iowa to hear directly from national conservative leaders at the inaugural Iowa Freedom Summit on Saturday, January 24, 2015. With the Iowa Caucuses only a year away the Summit will be a launch point for conservative ideas as we head towards 2016. …

The Freedom Summit will focus on how we can get America back on track by focusing on our core conservative principles of pro-growth economics, social conservatism, and a strong national defense. This must-attend summit in the Hawkeye State is free to the public and will be held at the historical Hoyt Sherman Place in Des Moines nearly a year before the pivotal Iowa Caucuses.

As of now, the list of confirmed speakers includes these rumored presidential hopefuls, in alphabetical order:

  • John Bolton
  • Ben Carson
  • Chris Christie
  • Ted Cruz
  • Carly Fiorina
  • Mike Huckabee
  • Rick Perry
  • Rick Santorum
  • Scott Walker

Sarah Palin will get the most attention and is the featured speaker on the Freedom Summit’s website, a testimony to her enduring draw among the conservative base. There are also a few other speakers of note who won’t be tossing their hats in the presidential ring:

  • Newt Gingrich
  • Terry Branstad
  • Joni Ernst
  • Marsha Blackburn
  • Jim DeMint

The event has sold out, but I will be traveling to Des Moines this weekend to provide coverage of the event for Hot Air readers. Townhall hopes to offer some post-speech interaction with each of the featured speakers, and I will have a couple of one-on-ones as well. Expect some fireworks as the 2016 contenders make their cases and perhaps take a few shots at others, especially those who may end up being conspicuously absent from the proceedings. It should be fun — and I’m looking forward to joining my Townhall colleagues on this kickoff. Stay tuned!

As long as I’m writing today (on the last day of my vacation), I should mention that I will be speaking at an event in the first weekend of December called Bullets and Bourbon. I’ll join Dana Loesch, Glenn Reynolds, Mark Rippetoe, Stephen “Vodkapundit” Green, Roger L. Simon, and Dr. Helen Smith among others to celebrate our Second Amendment freedom in Glen Rose, Texas. I’ll have more on this later as it develops, as well as information on how Hot Air readers can attend this retreat.

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