3/2/2007 2:50:00 PM - Mary Katharine Ham
There was a glitch in the Internet service here for a bit, so sorry for the lateness...
McCain-hating and Romney-bashing have been pretty much equal-opportunity pastimes around CPAC this year. I've been surprised how much flak Romey has gotten, in fact, although his support is much higher than McCain's among conference-goers by the old sticker count.
Rudy, on the other hand, has gotten mostly a free pass. And, today, his speech was filled to capacity with folks waiting in the hallway to get in. There were also dense crowds around all the TVs in the exhibit halls. The charm offensive is strong, indeed. People just love listening to him.
I took some video of conservatives quite mesmerized by the Mayor, so I'm working on getting that up. They were doing crowd control outside the hall in which he was speaking. Many of those folks crowding the hall are pro-life, social conservatives who just can't resist him, despite the policy differences. I don't think Rudy will remain unattacked, as he was this week, but the feel-good factor is big for him, no matter what kind of conservative he's talking to.
Today, he talked about leadership, security, toughness, and Reagan to a crowd who's looking for a leader in the image of Reagan in a time that needs security. It was a good pitch, and there were more people listening than have listened to anything at CPAC this week.
We'll see what the Romney turn-out looks like next.