Friday, March 23, 2007

Citizens United in the News

In a recent cover story for the Weekly Standard, Matthew Continetti reports on "scenes from the Gingrich campaign." Exhibit A: this year's CPAC.

"Whether it's strengthening our national security and intelligence-gathering agencies," David Bossie explains, "reforming the United Nations, or transforming entitlement programs, Newt Gingrich never stops asking the tough questions." Bossie is the president of the conservative group Citizens United. He used to work on Capitol Hill during the 1990s. But nothing could prepare him for this, the Regency Ballroom at the Omni Shoreham hotel in the Woodley Park neighborhood of Washington, standing at a lectern in front of an audience of thousands of young conservatives—mostly boys, mostly white, a sea of blue blazers and pink jowls interspersed with stolid martial types in uniform—introducing the final, and most anticipated, speaker of the 2007 Conservative Political Action Conference, better known as CPAC.

"Equally important," Bossie is saying, Gingrich "never retreats from confronting tough answers. This, my friend, is leadership." Bossie looks at the crowd, which is standing room only, people tripping over each other to get into this cramped, muggy, shabby ballroom. The kids, with their digital cameras and cell phones, were taking pictures of Gingrich a few minutes before, when he entered from the back of the room and was mobbed like a rock star as he made his way onstage. "Since his time as speaker he's donned many hats: chairman of the Gingrich Group, political analyst for Fox News Channel, bestselling author, among other distinguished credentials," Bossie says. "But perhaps his most important service that he can provide to his country is yet to come."

Click here for the full text of Dave's speech.