Guy Benson’s analysis of performance among presidential hopefuls at CPAC is interesting, not just because of what he says. What he doesn’t say about the Louisiana governor speaks volumes about his prospects for securing the GOP presidential nomination.
Benson notes the great enthusiasm for candidates such as Scott Walker, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson and Rand Paul, who are also among my top choices for president in 2016.
Bobby Jindal? Heh… we’ll get to that part in a bit.
On Ben Carson:
A good choice to kick off the conference on Thursday morning, drawing a large, enthusiastic crowd. Carson didn’t disappoint his legions of grassroots admirers, hammering on the failures of big government liberalism, and calling for the abolishment of the IRS. (Speaking of the IRS, is anyone surprised by this development?)
Ben Carson is the type of candidate that I tend to root for. He’s an accomplished surgeon, a man of real accomplishment with true brilliance and he is not a politician.
He’s the type of guy I’d like to see get elected, but rarely ever does. But we’ll see.
On Scott Walker:
The Walker buzz is real. The room was packed and raucous for the governor’s remarks; he had the feel of a top-tier candidate, if not a frontrunner. Walker’s address started off a bit forced and shouty, almost as if he was trying to hard to shake off the (lazy) conventional wisdom knock that he’s “boring” or “bland.”
I’m less familiar with Walker compared to some of the others, but I’m liking what I see so far. I’d much prefer him to another member of the Bush clan.
The libertarian-leaning Republican drew a huge crowd of young, eager supporters who cheered and chanted throughout the Kentucky Senator’s address. Paul talked about the importance of national security, but warned that America must not lose its values in that pursuit. He criticized Obamacare and President Obama’s illegal executive amnesty (a common theme throughout the conference), closing with a rousing pro-liberty appeal. During the question-and-answer session, Paul confirmed that his “bad” hair is, in fact, real, drawing laughter and applause.
I posted those three examples and highlighted certain sections to illustrate which candidates generated the higher levels of enthusiasm and to contrast those descriptions with how the crowd responded to…
The Louisiana governor focused on three issues: Repealing Obamacare in its entirety (chiding Congressional Republicans for policy incoherence and cowardice), rolling back Common Core, and fighting radical Islamic terrorism.
Wow. Did ya see that? A terse, matter-of-fact overview of what Jindal said, with no reference to audience enthusiasm or audience numbers.
What do we take away from this?
It involves some guess work, sure, but one is tempted to think that think that Jindal’s presence at C-PAC was pretty inconsequential.
That’s not good, considering that Jindal has been going to some lengths to boost his conservative credentials and CPAC is a gathering of conservative activists (as opposed to ‘establishment types’). Yet the CPAC crowd seems to have barely noticed Jindal. If that wasn’t enough, he’s undoubtedly lost a few friends by talking smack about other Republicans.
He recently told the GOP congress to grow a spine and infamously rubbed salt in Mitt Romney’s post- election wounds
I’m not a betting man, but if I were, I wouldn’t bet on Bobby.