Personal thoughts on CPAC

Today I’m traveling back to Washington DC for the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). I remember my first introduction to CPAC was during my advisory assignment in Afghanistan in 2007. I had heard of the event previously, but after the November 2006 midterm debacle and the ascendancy of the liberal progressives’ I took a keener notice.

It was in January 2007 during my 10-day leave from theater that I met with Donna Brosemer at a restaurant in Delray Beach before redeploying when she asked me to consider running for US Congress. Watching and reading about CPAC from afar helped me begin to ascertain whether or not I wanted to pursue that endeavor. And in May 2007, I came home for a short visit and made the decision to run.

The first CPAC I ever attended was in 2008. What an experience. There I was, just two months back from a two-and-a-half year assignment in Afghanistan — I recall doing interviews from Kandahar and writing missives to garner folks’ attention. A special hat tip to Pam Geller and her Atlas Shrugs blog for publishing my reports. And there I was at CPAC in 2008, unknown and just trying to meet influential conservatives.

Well, I ran in the 2008 cycle and with only $580,000 in our war chest we took on a career Democrat politician with $3 million and lost with 45.3 percent of the vote. It astonished people and I remember two phone calls, one from then Representative Mike Pence and the other from Representative Lynn Westmoreland, both encouraging me to run again, and I did.

I remember attending the 2009 CPAC and the atmosphere was just flat. I got the opportunity to sit on a panel and speak, what an honor.

Throughout 2009 we worked hard to garner support and as the Affordable Care Act became a focal policy issue, I began to hone my skills beyond foreign policy and national security to domestic policies. In October 2009 I was asked to speak at a conservative grassroots rally at a place called “Revolution” in Ft. Lauderdale. And thanks to local activists, the video of that little 6 minute speech went viral. Next thing I know I was on Sean Hannity’s show on Fox and received an invite to speak at CPAC 2010 as the final speaker before the Saturday keynote speaker Glenn Beck. And I walked off the stage to meet Beck.

In 2010 my American journey continued and I was elected to the US House of Representatives. So fast forward to February 2011, a Tuesday evening the week of CPAC. My Chief of Staff, Jonathan Blyth, and I were seriously grubbing at our newly minted favorite cheap Chinese restaurant in downtown DC when Jonathan’s cell phone starting beeping. He answered and then looked at me and asked, “Congressman, do you want to be the CPAC keynote speaker?” I almost choked and responded yes — the rest is history.

So tomorrow I head back to CPAC 2014 — for me, the place where my American dream came to fruition. From watching the event in the combat zone of Kandahar Afghanistan to being a keynote speaker in four years, I will always be honored to have stood on the grandest of stages for an American conservative, the Conservative Political Action Conference.

See y’all there tomorrow and through the week!

15 COMMENTS

  1. It’s ON Patriots!

    We have TRAIL-BLAZING Conservative Leaders at last ——>>>>>>>

    Build that Palin-Cruz-West-Demint JUGGERNAUT, larger and larger … the JUGGERNAUT that will storm DC and RESCUE THIS REPUBLIC

    #WAR ——————————> #CrushROVE

    #MakeDCListen —————–> #RepealObamacare

    #BeClingers ————————> #AmericaRISING

    • Exodus2011 isn’t even an American. She’s a foreign-seditionist who’s trying to incite an anti-Constitutional, anti-Christian revolution in the U.S. so that her evil idols can take control — all the while, pretending as if she’s a “conservative champion. She’s a sick, twisted woman… but she is an animal.

      • now now, booboo …- you must think Americans who read here are easy to bamboozle! …

        you sport that anti-Palin avatar thus trumpeting the fact that you are a FOE of Constitutional America, and you expect Patriots to TAKE NOTICE OF YOU?

        O__o #AmericaRISING

      • I have a question(s) for the pro-Palin as President posters on this Blog.

        What are you doing to promote or establish her presidency campaign?

        Do you have her firm commitment to run?

        Do you have a ground campaign established?

        Do you have on the ground coordinators in 50 states?

        Do you have the required political coordinators named, trained and ready in all 50 states?

        If not, then why not, if you want her to be the next President?

  2. I heard some of Cruz’s speech. It was awesome, to the point. It was good to hear the very things that I have on my mind spoken and addressed by Cruz. It feels good to know some of them get it

  3. Nice article, sir! Time to get our troops fired up! btw, since nobody’s said it yet, would you mind calling for Obama’s impeachment on several counts??? Thanks.

  4. Here is a real Man a real Leader why don’t we have him or people like him to choose, to run our government?….why do we put up with the extremely poor choice of candidates we ignore the best people and choose from the worst kinds of people

  5. LTC West: you’ve had my support ever since that speech you gave at the Revolution. We don’t need more politicians, we need leaders. Hint: tag, you are IT.
    Here’s a link to that “infamous” speech West gave:

    http://youtu.be/VP2p91dvm6M

  6. LTC Allen West is the most noble man in American politics since President Reagan. They are both cut from the same cloth. America is like ancient Israel in decline. It cries for Obama and instead of LTC West. Allen West 2016

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