Washington - America's Most Powerful Radio Personality Rush Limbaugh Electrifies The Republican Party At CPAC
Washington - Seizing the opportunity to speak to a national TV audience, conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh told a packed house of cheering supporters at the 2009 Conservative Political Action Committee’s annual meeting in Washington to resist President Barack Obama’s plans to expand government and not “think like a minority.”
Moments before bringing Limbaugh to the CPAC stage, American Conservative Union president David Keene had gleefully reported a record attendance of 8,500, noting that when Reagan spoke at the first CPAC conference in 1973 only 125 people attended. Keene said the conference, which has steadily moved to larger venues over nearly four decades, had now outgrown the Shoreham and will move to “bigger quarters next year.” In a statement that harkened back to Bill Clinton’s defiant claims of relevancy in the wake of the Republicans’ 1994 electoral victories, Keene assured the audience that “We’re here, we’re alive, and we’re interested in ideas.”
Slated for 30 minutes, Limbaugh spoke for more than an hour. His address started out quite strong, interrupted regularly for throaty ovations. In an early, not-so-subtle dig at the president and what he cheekily refers to as the “drive-by media,” Limbaugh clarified for anyone wondering that he doesn’t need a teleprompter to deliver a speech. He acknowledged Obama’s persuasive powers, and even said the Democratic president had the “power to destroy” the Republican Party were he to use his communication skills to inspire Americans. (Apparently, Limbaugh watched a different national election, transition and opening month of the Obama administration, given that three-quarters of the country currently approves of the new president’s performance.)
But Limbaugh limped through the final half-hour, rambling and repeating points he had already covered. He may not have needed a teleprompter, but by the end of the speech what he most needed was the hook. And despite buzz in some quarters about a possible Limbaugh bid for the presidency in 2012, if he truly had electoral ambitions, he would speak more often in the second person or first person plural, rather than solely about himself.
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