Eric Cantor Keeps It Calm
The Friday morning session at CPAC follows a pattern — an exciting opening speech to rouse conference attendees out of bed, and a few pro forma speeches until the possible presidential candidates show up. Herman Cain, an African-American conservative radio host from Georgia, was given the fire-up duties, then Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) had to bat clean-up. And Cantor’s speech received the most mild reception I’d yet seen here. He simply didn’t try to rev up the crowd: The Democrats’ problems don’t mean “Republicans have earned the trust” of voters yet; The party needs to commit to a “reform agenda.”
The only flashes of energy came from William Temple, the omnipresent Revolutionary War re-enactor, who stood at the entrance to the ballroom shouting “Huzzah!” and waving a bayonet and Gadsden flag for every statement he liked.
It was a typical Cantor performance. He didn’t spend much time on the appeal to history or one-liners about Obama. If his party prospers, Cantor will become majority leader.
Following Cantor: Mark Mix of National Right to Work, who actually said this:
“Freedom works and freedom works. At National Right to Work, we’re interested in the ‘freedom works’ part of this equation.”