Katie Kieffer

Ask Siri: “What is CPAC 2013? There is an app in the iTunes store called CPAC 2013. You must know something about this event!”

Siri is a smart woman. She responds:

“CPAC 2013 is the largest annual gathering of conservative activists in the country and is celebrating its 40th anniversary in Washington, D.C., March 14-16, at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center.

CPAC’s organizers expect to meet or exceed last year’s attendance record—meaning over 10,000 activists. This is a big feat considering that this is a year after an election where conservatives suffered some major losses. This indicates that young people seem undeterred in their drive to get involved in the conservative movement.”

Thank you, Siri. I will handle the rest of the column from here.

Personally, every time I have attended and spoken at CPAC, I have made valuable friendships and experienced a great deal of inspiration while meeting so many young, like-minded libertarians and conservatives.

There will be over 200 speakers and 30 panels at CPAC 2013. Plus, networking opportunities, job fairs and movie screenings. There will be a diverse mix of conservative and libertarian speakers and attendees. With speakers ranging from Sen. Rand Paul to Dr. Ben Carson, this is sure to be an electrifying event.

Many of this year’s CPAC speakers are talented in their own right outside of their political celebrity, which makes them all the more attractive and engaging. For example, both Paul (ophthalmologist) and Carson (neurosurgeon) are medical professionals. Did you know that Carson was the first surgeon to successfully separate conjoined twins? He led a 70-member surgical team for 22 hours to operate on twins bonded at the back of the head.

These are just two of the high-caliber speakers you will hear from at CPAC 2013: individuals who built something positive and entrepreneurial on their own. Yes, they did, President Obama.

Recently, some media outlets have been posing questions about CPAC 2013’s agenda. Allow me to address these reservations and dispel any confusion:

Why Didn’t Christie Get an Invitation?

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gave a rousing speech at CPAC’s regional event in Chicago last spring. However, since then, he has made some very fiscally irresponsible decisions. CPAC representatives say they will happily invite Christie back when he acts more like a fiscal conservative.

As TownHall editor Dan Doherty points out, the same Christie who once used the word “extortion” to describe the Affordable Care Act, is now accepting optional Medicaid expansion funds from the federal government that will put his state in millions, if not billions, of long-term debt. How is this fiscally responsible?

Lately, Christie seems to be more interested in hugging Obama than helping out his state. He pushed hard for Hurricane Sandy relief funds that in reality will cripple his state without providing much immediate relief to victims. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that only seven percent of the $50.5 billion in the Senate’s disaster relief bill went toward the immediate needs of Sandy victims. The rest goes toward pork and future spending, not immediate disaster relief.

Some may argue that Christie would be an energizing personality at an event like CPAC. But what young activist wants to hear from a person they partially blame for Obama’s win? Christie needs to re-brand himself as consistently fiscally responsible if he hopes to energize conservatives in the future.

Why won’t GOProud be at CPAC?

After talking to a CPAC spokesperson, I learned that GOProud (as well as some other organizations) were asked not to attend this year because of unprofessional behavior exhibited by these particular groups. According to CPAC, the unprofessionalism of these groups was an issue entirely distinct from their political positions or the sexual orientation of their members. Furthermore, all individuals who are gay are welcome to attend CPAC.

Some conservatives are voicing frustration over CPAC’s decision on GOProud, but, as I have written here, in order to preserve your own freedom, you must respect the right of private organizations like CPAC to include—or not include—whomever they choose.

If you are looking for a fun and motivating way to energize yourself to become a leader in society and meet like-minded friends, CPAC 2013 is for you.

Will you be at CPAC 2013? If you will, I look forward to seeing you, and, if not, you will miss out! Just ask Siri.


Katie Kieffer

Katie Kieffer is the author of a new book published by Random House, LET ME BE CLEAR: Barack Obama’s War on Millennials and One Woman’s Case for Hope.” She writes a weekly column for Townhall.com. She also runs KatieKieffer.com.