It has taken longer to get this sent out than expected– in any case here is an update from the happenings at the conference Friday with lots of pictures! An update about Saturday the second day of the conference should follow soon!!
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The first day of the American’s for Prosperity’s Right Online Conference and Defending the Dream Summit was amazing!
I started off my day at Right Online’s “The Left’s Plan for America”, which featured Francesca Chambers, Michael Moroney (who shared the fun fact that he and Ms. Chambers are a married couple!) and Patrick Ruffini.
This was an excellent presentation that gave attendees an opportunity to see what the Left really thinks and how they operate conferences that are the Left’s equivalent to ours! Obama (Narcissist that he is) actually sent a video of himself to NetRoots Nation in lieu of an actual appearance. On the serious side we discovered some really great things that we can actually learn from the Left and areas we ought to improve.
After this I headed to the Right Online opening session with speakers including Dr. Arthur Brooks, Soren Dayton, and Patrick Ruffini. I absolutely enjoyed Dr. Brooks. Dr. Brooks shared his great perspective on how online activists (and political activists in general) should be sending their message. We should be reaching out to people, not selling a product he said. Only when we reach out to others from our heart with the message we believe can we win!
Next I headed to the Defending the American Dream Summit for lunch. This was a great opportunity to meet activists from around the country!
The Defending the American Dream general session was fantastic– with a couple thousand people attending the general session, finding a seat 4th row from the front was nice!! The speakers included Governor Rick Perry, Governor Bobby Jindal, Governor Rick Scott, Senator Marco Rubio, and David Horowitz.
Governor Jindal is an amazing speaker– he Is very articulate and has a captivating way of sharing the story of his state and it’s recent accomplishments!! Although I disagree with Sen. Rubio’s stand on immigration (living in a border state makes it clear that border security must be a top priority), I was ashamed of the hecklers who shouted out their criticism during Rubio’s speech. Even though they were right, the behavior was inappropriate.
Governor Rick Scott of Florida spoke making it clear that he was making Florida competitive for businesses and ready to take on Texas. A couple jabs at Gov. Jindal and Gov. Perry followed. During his speech a few well-timed shouts of “Stop Common Core” came from the audience. This time the comments were well-timed and those I spoke with agrees they were just fine.
For me getting to see Rick Perry, after supporting him in the presidential primary in 2011, was a highlight. Perry reminded the audience that Texas was still the most business-friendly state in the country and even managed to mention my Governor Martinez in his speech along with other neighboring governors. His was the last speech and the crowd left invigorated. A possible run in 2016? Some from the audience voiced their support of the idea. We shall see.
In the evening attendees of Defending the American Dream and Right Online headed for the park The Party in the Park, which kicked off with an award ceremony featuring Michelle Malkin, Benji Backer and some amazing activists from across the country who have worked hard to further economic freedom!
Benji Backer spoke, telling the audience about his persecution in the public school system due to his political views. I have been familiar with Benji since he was a guest on my friends Blog Talk Radio program last year. He has since faced additional bullying from teachers.
At the close of the session at the amphitheater there was a competition announced which would allow winners who collected a correct set of cards to receive an opportunity to have a private meet and greet with Michelle Malkin or Greg Gutfield on Saturday! I managed to trade cards and come up with a set and be the first in line to win the competition! No doubt my choice was Michelle Malkin!
I finished off the evening visiting with other activists at the park in between rides. I ran into Dana and Chris Loesch (so pleased to meet them!!) and Americans for Prosperity’s Tim Phillips as well. That was one fun day!