CPAC 2013 at National Harbor

*First I have got to apologize for the absolutely terrible picture quality in the post…my excitement paired with my crappy iPhone camera did not serve me well this weekend…*

For you non-politicos out there – CPAC refers to the Conservative Political Action Conference, where thousands of conservatives gather each year to attend workshops, panels, and speeches by some of the best conservative lawmakers, commentators, journalists, and policy wonks.

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Gaylord National Hotel right on the water at National Harbor!

This weekend was all I needed to ensure that I am definitely in the right place. There’s nothing quite like being around thousands of people from all over the country that are so passionate about the same things you’re passionate about!

We left work early on Friday to head over to CPAC as a team, which was awesome. Unfortunately we missed some of my favorites – including Rand Paul  Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, and Mitt Romney…but we still arrived with plenty of time to see my #1 favorite current politician – Bobby Jindal, Governor of Louisiana. Bobby did not hold back at all – firing shots at the Obama Administration, the Republican Party, and NJ Governor Chris Christie.

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BOBBY!!

We attended a couple other workshops Friday evening, and I almost stayed for the dinner with Jeb Bush, but ultimately decided against it because I’ve been fighting off a cold and wanted to make sure I was in perfect shape to endure an entire Saturday of CPAC madness.

We were so excited to see Governor Scott Walker Saturday morning, but unfortunately missed it thanks to a marathon blocking off all the roads downtown (ugh). We did still make it in time to see Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, and Sarah Palin. Now these aren’t my favorite people in conservative politics, but it was still cool to see them all in person! We also got to see Dr. Ben Carson, a neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins, and a rising star in politics. If you haven’t heard anything from him yet,  you should definitely look him up – he is really inspiring and eloquent in his speech.

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the PACKED room! Note the press/media all on their computers on the right…so cool

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Sarah Palin herself!

On top of the programming being awesome, I finally got a chance to visit National Harbor! Being that it is all the way out in Prince George’s County, I’ve had no incentive to get down there all this time, so it was awesome to finally have a reason! It’s basically a little town filled with shops and restaurants on the outskirts of the city. I wish we had more time to explore the area, but I’ll definitely be making a trip back sooner rather than later.

The highlight of National Harbor is the Awakening Statue, which surprisingly has no real story behind it other than a man struggling to break out of the ground…

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The little kids playing on it was too much to handle

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We took a short break from all the political jargon to walk around and grab lunch at Rosa Mexicano. I was a little disappointed with the lack of options, but finally settled on tortilla soup and chicken taquitos, which were delicious. Not to mention their super strong pomegranate margaritas!  On the way back to the hotel we came across one of my favorite stores, America!, and someone was clever enough to put this guy out front:

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Making my friends pose with Obama

We went back to the hotel for the last few speeches – Ann Coulter and Ted Cruz, two people I have very different feelings about. Ann Coulter is….an acquired taste, in my opinion. She’s definitely not my go-to source on conservative ideas. Ted Cruz, on the other hand, I admire a lot. He’s young, passionate, and energetic. We both have immigrant fathers and you can tell he really cares about and believes in the policies he promotes, which is important and rare in politics.

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Crazy Ann Coulter

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TED CRUZ!!!

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Standing ovation for Senator Cruz

I’m so inspired and excited from this weekend! I can’t wait to see what the future of the conservative movement holds. This all refers back to our recent post about job hunting. It’s so worth it to spend time finding your passion and applying it to your career. Trust me, life is much more enjoyable when you love your job! My apologies again for the terrible pictures, and for rambling on in this post about politics…I’ll post a cookie recipe soon to make up for it, I swear!

-S

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