Adrenalin on Friday, ahead of Gov. Rick Perry's announcement
On Friday Erick Erickson welcomed everyone. He introduced Rep. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Governor Rick Scott (R-Fla.) The crowd made their approval clear, with one message resonating: Beat Obama in 2012.
Rep. Scott talked about telling Obama to “hit the road, Jack" and conservative values. A very articulate man who connects easily with others, Scott is a rising star in the GOP.
Gov. Scott talked about jobs in Florida and the 11th Circuit Court decision striking down the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act mandate (ObamaCare). Scott was very comfortable with the crowd and he came across as confident about what he’s doing as governor.
Sen. DeMint joked he was “afraid to come tonight because of the ‘Tea Party terrorists.’” The crowd loved it—loved hearing small government messaging from all the conservatives who spoke.
DeMint said President Barack Obama and the Democrats didn’t understand how the economy runs. DeMint said it was like being on a bus tour and the driver asking, “Now that we’ve lost Triple A, who are we gonna call when this bus breaks down?”
If there’s a real statesman in the Senate, that would be DeMint. He’s got the battle scars to prove it, partly due to his no-nonsense stance on earmarks. Attendees received a copy of DeMint’s new book, ‘The Great American Awakening,’ and I’ll cover that in a forthcoming column.
After DeMint finished, we all headed to Sticky Fingers for the reception with Gov. Nikki Haley (R-S.C.)—we took a pedicab and found we preferred that way to getting around to all others. Traffic—pedestrians, cars, taxis, pedicabs, buses—is too congested in that area to bring the car out every time you need to go somewhere.
Reception with Haley and afterwards
At the reception, the line was so long we gave up on getting to meet/greet Gov. Haley. I really admire her—for one thing, she helped increase funding for one of the best programs for at-risk youth in the country, the Youth ChalleNGe Academy. Haley is a very gracious, friendly yet authoritative person; she will surely make a mark on national politics in years to come.
We met many people during and in between these events. The crowd was more diverse than we thought in many ways. For one thing, many of the attendees who came from all over the U.S. were readers rather than bloggers—just people with an interest in political activism. Some were affiliated with tea party groups; others were moderates. Without exception, everyone was nice and I was again reminded we do live in a small world. I met a woman who has family in a very little town near my own hometown in Carolina. I had a great time talking to her and to her husband about growing up in those parts.
After the reception, my husband and I took a pedicab to Fish. We had a great meal there and then we walked the few blocks back to the hotel.
After depositing my cameras, notepads and 20-lb. work bag (I travel heavy) in the room, I went back downstairs to have a smoke. College kids were everywhere, enjoying the night. The humidity surpassed every humid experience I’ve ever had, but Charlestonians don’t seem to mind. The hotel was green, but the PTAC unit in our room hummed all night.
Gov. Rick Perry would announce his candidacy the next day, Saturday.
Read Pt. 1 of Red State Gathering 2011
(Filed by Kay B. Day/August 15, 2011)