CPAC, Day 1: Buzz Aldrin, book signings, and the Townhall/Hot Air debate party

NATIONAL HARBOR, MARYLAND – The annual Conservative Political Action Conference will start in just a few minutes at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center. This year as in past years, Townhall Media is one of the main sponsors of CPAC and will play a significant part in the proceedings — especially tonight. The first evening will feature a debate party open to all CPAC attendees with a pre-debate show hosted by Fox News’ Sean Hannity, and with a familiar roster of panelists to preview the debate — Guy Benson, Mary Katharine Ham, Katie Pavlich, Leon Wolf, and myself. That will start at 7:30 pm ET and continue until the start of the debate at 9 ET, at which time most of us will begin tweeting out our reactions from somewhere in the room. As we discovered at RedState Gathering, there really is no better way to experience a debate and gauge the impact of the discourse than having a roomful of committed conservatives watching it together.


Some of today’s main-stage speeches will get picked up by C-SPAN on one of their channels, I understand, so it will be possible to follow along with the most major events from home. Gov. Scott Walker and Sen. Joni Ernst will kick it off this morning as the first two speakers, starting at 9:10 am. Other notable speakers on stage today are:

  • Ambassador John Bolton (11:10)
  • Sen. Tim Scott (11:25)
  • Dennis Prager (11:40)
  • Rep. Mia Love (1:30)
  • Rep. Marsha Blackburn (3:15)
  • Apollo XI astronaut Buzz Aldrin (4:15)

Buzz Aldrin! Unfortunately, I will not get a chance to hear that speech, as I will be getting ready (in Camellia 4) to sign and give away 50 free galley proofs of my new book, Going Red, which will come out on April 12th. For those attending CPAC, look for tweets about the details from my @EdMorrissey account, and also the @GoingRedBook account. I’ll also be taping a Book TV interview about Going Red at noon. Guy and Mary Katharine will be signing and selling their book End of Discussion at 2 pm, and editorial cartoonist extraordinaire Michael Ramirez will be signing and selling Give Me Liberty or Give Me ObamaCare at 5:45. For something a little different, come by Camellia 4 at 2:45 and get a signed poster from actress Stacey Dash.

On top of that, Heritage Foundation has arranged a series of debates called CPAC Fight Club, which will take place at various times over the next three days. Lachlan Markay and I will debate at 11:30 (lower ballroom) about whether conservatives should demand unfettered free speech from Twitter and other social-media platforms. Perhaps Heritage will have video of these debates available afterward; I certainly wouldn’t want to miss any of them.


Jazz Shaw and I will have more later from CPAC today, tomorrow, and Saturday. Stay tuned!

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