Posts Tagged ‘ CPAC ’

CPAC News: Q/A with Houston Blogger Melissa Clouthier

I talked to top conservative Houston-based blogger and tweeter, Melissa Clouthier, from the Conservative Political Action Committee convention in Washington, DC. Melissa was a featured CPAC panelist for a breakout session titled “The Power of New Media to Change Things.”

WHAT’S DIFFERENT AT CPAC THIS YEAR FROM LAST YEAR?

The sheer numbers of young people here. There are 10,000 people at CPAC. Probably half of them are under age 25. So there’s a LOT of young people, and a lot of energy. And there’s more hope. Last year, I think everyone felt a little kicked in the gut.

WHAT WAS THE BEST MOMENT DURING DAY ONE (THURSDAY, 2/18)?

Bar none, it was the surprise of having Dick Cheney speak. The crowd went nuts. He was funny, snarky, and very loved by the crowd because he’s unapologetically conservative. And he’s a great speaker with a lot of presence. He’s been a successful politican for a reason.

Second only to Cheney, was the surprise of Scott Brown introducing Mitt Romney. Brown also brought down the house.

DO YOU SENSE THE GOP FEELS A POWER SHIFT TO GRASSROOTS MOVEMENTS?

There’s probably still a strain of denial among some. But I do think there are some others who are really excited to have this energy coming up from the bottom. They know people are paying way more attention to the issues. Thats’ a challenge to the GOP because everyone’s watching and determining whether they’re on the “right” side of an issue or on the “wrong” side of an issue.

WHAT’S NEXT AT CPAC THAT YOU’RE EXCITED ABOUT?

I’m interested more in the break-out sessions. The next important thing – and my question – is what are we going to do policy-wise to make a difference? There are some good topics and ideas being put forth in these sessions; for example,the California model of governance (what NOT to do, of course), and there’s a session on ideas for community development in urban centers that interests me.

WHAT ARE TOP CONSERVATIVE BLOGGERS TALKING ABOUT WITH EACH OTHER?

We had a “Blogger Bash”  dinner last night and you know, we’re just enjoying each others’  company. Bloggers are not the most loved people by some. So it’s been great to be able to be positive for each other. That doesn’t happen often. Most bloggers are self-employed and probably not making money. So it’s fun to be together. We’re less political with each other than you’d imagine and just having a good time.

WHAT DO YOU HOPE WILL COME OUT OF CPAC FOR 2010?

I’m hoping that the people who attend will feel more solidarity with like-minded people. Conservatives in particular, over the last 8-10 years, have felt like America has changed so much that maybe the “majority” really does want a more european style model of government. President George W. Bush’s domestic agenda – although I personally like him – but his agenda was more of a big government model. Now it’s encouraging to see there’s a lot of people who want something different, who are focused on less government and lower taxes. But let’s not forget how much Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, et al, have done for us as well. So it’s one thing to be negatively motivated but another thing to be positively engaged.

HOW ABOUT FOR TEXAS SPECIFICALLY?

For one thing, I’ve been asked here a million times, “What’s going on down there with that Debra Medina?” But the point to that is, people are really interested in what’s going on in Texas, because they know our state is doing really well. Conservatives are impressed. They want what we have in their states. Of course, there are people suffering in Texas from unemployment, mortgage foreclosures, etc., but when you start comparing the stories I’m hearing from around the country, we’re in relatively good shape. It’s such a different environment in Texas and people want it. That’s a big thing. So Texas is like the rock star right now in the conservative movement. Going forward this year, we need to preserve what’s been done right, and make it even stronger.

Learn more about Dr. Melissa Clouthier at www.melissaclouthier.com

Follow Melissa on Twitter: @MelissaTweets

This interview is also published online at: http://www.austincapitaltimes.com

Follow The Austin Capital Times on Twitter: @atxcaptimes