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Ann Coulter Not (Officially) Invited to CPAC 2008

CPAC 2008 Logo Omni Shoreham Washington DC I’ve been invited once again to be an official blogger at CPAC, the premier gathering of American conservatives sponsored by the American Conservative Union. I’m swamped with a project at work but hope to be able to make it to a few sessions; thankfully, it’s only a couple miles away from the office.

Among the speakers on the conference agenda are President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and all four of the remaining Republican presidential contenders. Surprisingly, a person not on the list is Ann Coulter, a regular headliner who has been given a prime speaking slot the last several years.

As many will recall, Coulter called John Edwards a “faggot” at least year’s convention, prompting condemnation from the presidential candidates who had attended the invention and a letter from the official bloggers urging ACU not to invite her back in the future.

Justin Elliott of Mother Jones interviewed ACU president David Keene about the decision:

“We just decided that, given the agenda and all that we had going on this year, there was not a reason to invite her.” Asked if the decision was related to the uproar Coulter’s remarks caused last year, Keene demurred. “The cosponsoring groups decided she was not high on their list,” Keene said. “She wasn’t suggested this year. That doesn’t mean she won’t be invited again next year.”

As I learned yesterday afternoon via a CPAC bloggers listserv, Coulter will in fact be around CPAC, attending an invitation-only event sponsered by Young America’s Foundation and the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute at the Omni-Shoreham, the conference hotel. Elliot suggests this is hypocritical and quotes someone claiming that CPAC was essentially organized around Coulter’s speech to let attendees go. The problem with that, though, is that there’s pretty much always an end to the formal festivities at 5 to allow various pre-banquet cocktail parties sponsored by various groups to take place. One of those is a CLP Reception which will host a Coulter book signing.

Is CPAC having it both ways? To some extent, yes.

Declining to give Coulter the CPAC microphone is a commendable move. Would I have preferred that they also declined to allow affiliates to sponsor her book signings? Or at least keep said event off the official schedule? Sure. But Keene is in a tricky position.

CPAC’s attendees are overwhelmingly very young — college kids and others in their early 20s. Coulter is undeniably appealing to that group. Indeed, her red meat, bomb throwing style would have been much more appealing to me twenty years ago. Many of these people are traveling across to country to see and hear all the famous conservatives that they usually only get to see on television. They’d have been very disappointed to miss out on one of the biggest stars.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Maybe this is not exactly “news” but I think there are many intelligent Americans who really don’t keep track of Ms. Coulter these days. Along with Rush, we are seeking a bit more than either a woman who sounds like she has had one drink too many or a man who is a genetically modified wind tunnel.

    Tammy Swofford

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  2. DL says:

    “”…these (young)people are traveling across to country to see and hear all the famous conservatives that they usually only get to see on television.”

    I assume when you say famous conservatives you refer to other than the present bunch of GOP candidates?

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  3. [...] To get things kicked off, I wanted to point you to a post over at Outside The Beltway about Ann Coulter’s lack of an official invite to CPAC this year. [...]

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  4. floyd says:

    Somebody has to be in charge of “conservative” thought, or else everybody might start thinking for themselves! Imagine the chaos if every “conservative” didn’t read the same speech.
    “Verbatim or verboten” sounds like a nice motto.

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  5. Steve Plunk says:

    Appropriate punishment for going over the line last year. Maybe it will teach some moderation.

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  6. sam says:

    Appropriate punishment for going over the line last year. Maybe it will teach some moderation.

    As they say in Italy, “Fette cinza”.

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  7. Tlaloc says:

    The problem with that, though, is that there’s pretty much always an end to the formal festivities at 5 to allow various pre-banquet cocktail parties sponsored by various groups to take place

    Lamest. Party. Ever.

    Why does it take a seedy truck stop or airport bathroom for republicans to have some fun?

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  8. floyd says:

    “”Why does it take a seedy truck stop or airport bathroom for republicans to have some fun?””
    “”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””

    ‘Cause that’s where the democrats wait to pleasure them??

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  9. Wayne says:

    It is amazing how many preaches that everyone needs to be tolerated of moderate or liberal opinions yet are not tolerate of conservative opinions. Some conservative views I share others I don’t. If the Republican Party becomes all moderate or liberal light and dismisses conservative viewpoints they will loose me and many others. Historically Coalitions tend to follow this path and break down. Then the GOP will be wondering through the wilderness again.

    I don’t agree with all Rush and Ann say but do agree with the majority of what they say. Dismiss them entirely and you dismiss all their views and those that share some of those views.

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  10. yetanotherjohn says:

    Perhaps this was a corollary to the democrats revoking Lieberman’s super delegate status since Coulter is supporting Hillary Clinton (maybe it’s a chick thing with her).

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  11. Dave says:

    It’s because she’s a loud mouthed douche-bag, plain and simple

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  12. Steve Plunk says:

    Dave, nice logical, rational argument there. Sam, excuse me but I don’t speak Italian.

    Wayne, I have to agree with you, 100%.

    Tlaloc, doesn’t having a big tent mean allowing a few degenerates in? Wouldn’t want to offend certain groups by excluding them based on their sexuality.

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  13. tom p says:

    Ann Coulter goes out of her way to insult those who disagree with her on certain issues (even when they might agree with her on others) writing books like “If Democrats had Brains they would be Republicans” (or some tripe like that) Couldn’t I just as easily write a book titled: “If Conservatives had balls they would String “W” up by his Balls”?

    There are many issues on which I disagree with the (supposed) “Conservative” wing of the Republican Party. But there are more than a few on which I agree. Why would I ever say I agree with anything Ann Coulter says, when all she wants is my throat?

    As Pogo said so wisely, so may years ago (or something like it): “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

    tom

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  14. Logan says:

    Hannity, Rush, Ingram, etc have all shown their true colors. They agree that McCain is strong on defense and they loved the surge, yet they are willing to vote for Hillary or vote for no one rather than McCain. If that scenario plays out, and the Democrats take the White House, the possibility of a terrorist attack on American soil will be on their conscience.

    How can self proclaimed hawks vote for a dove? The answer is easy but sad, they wouldn’t care if we were hit again. It is sad, but appears truer by the day. Rush specifically has said he would rather the democrats “take the hit.” While he was talking about a political hit, the connection is too startling not to make. He was saying, let the dems take white house, let the terrorists hit us again, that way the public will come grovelling at the gop’s feet and we can secure the presidency for years to come. How sick.

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  15. Gary Gulrud says:

    I’m sure James is right about Ann, the tent can be too big after all. She was up here in St. Paul a couple of years ago and scandalized our nuanced-multiculti-euphorian sensiblilities, or so the local paper gave tell.
    Don’t worry, all you happening-movers-and-shakers, we’ve scrubbed the airport restrooms and we’ll all have cleared town for the lakes up north by the time you wing-in.
    You spend a lot of money, hear?

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  16. tom p says:

    Ahhhh Gary,

    How are the lakes these times? Are they still as clear and clean as I remember them? Do the walleye still hit like a ton of bricks, and the pike still bite with the ferocity of a tornado?

    I lived up there for a short time back in the 70’s (actually just north of the line… Lake of the Woods) Best time of my life. I still dream of nights while falling asleep to the sound of a loon (I was TIRED)

    Some day I will return…. sorry tho, I won’t spend much money.

    tom

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