Tomorrow I will be packing up the car and kissing my dog goodbye and driving back up to DC for the weekend. I'll be joining my globe trotting parents and going to the Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference. This will be a major platform for most of the GOP presidential hopefuls. Among the speakers will be Gov Huntsman, Mitt Romney, Michelle Bachman, Haley Barbour, Virginia's very own Gov Allen, Glenn Beck, Donald Trump, Ralph Reed, and many other notable GOP and Tea Party names.
The truth about me is I am less and less a Republican every day. I continue to become more independent, and more libertarian. This does not make me more moderate. In fact, I'm more extreme to both the left and the right. There are a few things I know I am not. One is a conspiracy theorist, and/or a supporter of Ron Paul. I am not an extreme tea partier either. I listen to NPR more than Fox News. But I am attending this conservative GOP event.
I'm the Peace Corps volunteer who once worked for the NRA. My politics are not straight forward or easily definable.
I'm going because I want to hear things first hand. I'd rather hear Huntsman talk about his Obama ties himself, and not hear what the media tells me about those ties. Trump may not be running, but he's going to be a major influencer in the next election. And I want to hear his opinions right out of his own mouth. And I really want to hear Romney talk about health care. I am a big believer in turning off the news, and going to the events. I like to see and hear it all first person. It is why I attended the Glenn Beck rally last summer (even though I was admittedly not a big Beck fan). It is why I have sat through a Michele Bachman speech. And I'll tell you this- the woman can speak. I didn't agree with one thing she said, and yet she sucked me right in. It wasn't till I walked away that I realized how much I disagreed with her. But during her speech, I gave her a standing ovation- she can move you.
I believe in getting out there and listening to the candidates first-hand. I also strongly believe in looking at their staff. I always look to see who it is they choose to surround themselves with. Who do they trust their money and image with? I've ruled out many candidates because their staff disgusted me (ahem, Obama, McCain, and several years ago Sen. Phil Gramm).
I will go into Ron Paul with an open mind. I want to see what on earth it is about the man that makes people follow him. My understandings and experiences thus far tell me he would do good at a think tank, but absolutely not in the most powerful seat in the world. But I'm going, and I will listen.
And I will report back. I'll let you know what I see and hear.
But first, I must pack. And answer this very important question- black shoes or hot pink heels?