The 5 things you just can’t miss at CPAC 2014

Thursday morning, Republicans and otherwise conservative-minded people will descend on the Gaylord National Resort Convention Center at National Harbor, Md. to debate, mingle and talk about how much they don’t like Democrats.

Over the three day session, some of the biggest names in the Republican Party will converge to debate the hottest issues in our country. There will be lots of talk of gay marriage, Vladimir Putin and the problems President Barack Obama has caused this country.

Here are some things to catch.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie

Barack Obama, Chris Christie
The embattled New Jersey Governor will be making his first major address to Republicans since his much hailed speech at the 2012 Republican National Convention. Christie wasn’t invited to the CPAC last year due what many perceived as a snub when he was seen chummy with President Barack Obama after Hurricane Katrina, the weekend before the 2012 election.

Christie is not a popular figure with many in the Republican Party right now, and it will be interesting to see if his rhetoric begins to go further right of center than he has previously been, possibly signally an interesting in running for president. Maybe he will be booed, maybe he will be cheered — we just have to wait and see.

Dr. Ben Carson

George W. Bush, Ben Carson
Carson came onto the scene after criticizing President Barack Obama at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast. Since then, his profile has continued to rise, with many conservatives looking at Carson as a change from the political rhetoric found on Capitol Hill. Carson could emerge as the hot topic post CPAC if he makes some sort of hard stance against the president in his speech. Further fueling his political prospects, a political action committee focused on drafting Ben Carson for the 2016 nomination announced on Tuesday that they had raised close to $3 million.

GOProud

gop
The pro-gay Republican group will be allowed to attend this years function, though they will not be allowed a booth in the vendor’s room. With more and more American’s supporting gay rights, it will be interesting to see if their presence ignites any further debate within the party over gay acceptance.

Young Republicans

Paul Ryan
The youth movement will be out in full force at CPAC, with many young Republicans growing more progressive on social issues, it will be interesting to see whether people will be talking about some of the division among age groups in the conservative movement. If stereotyping is your thing, the youngsters will be in their best suits, with short cropped haircuts, obnoxious bow ties and American flag lapel pins.

Obsessive reporters

benny
When walking around the Gaylord, keep an eye on the people walking around you. Many of them will be so buried in their phones that they won’t notice bumping into you. Reporters from outlets around the country will all be competing to cover CPAC in the most unique, and in some cases, alternative way possible. No doubt there will be lots of references to cats, and listicles about the people in attendance.


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