Center Goes to CPAC

Last week, I had the great pleasure of representing the Center at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) with President John Hinderaker. This was the first time American Experiment has been an exhibitor at the largest gathering of conservatives in the United States and it was wonderful to be able to share the Center’s work with the rest of the country.

Surprisingly, we were the only state-based think tank at CPAC which made for the unique opportunity to share not only what we do in Minnesota, but also how the Center and our state fit into the national dialogue. We brought along stacks of Thinking Minnesota which were a huge hit. Everyone could relate to our work on political indoctrination in public schools as well as the failures of wind energy. I was frequently replenishing our research as well. Our recent paper by Steve Hayward and Peter Nelson, Energy Policy in Minnesota: The High Cost of Failure, was of particular interest to the CPAC audience. We heard many stories about how other states face the same letdowns from liberal green energy policies.

President Trump

When we were not sharing the Center with CPAC in the exhibit hall, we were in the main ballroom listening to some memorable speakers. On the first morning, Thursday, I heard Dana Loesch and Wayne LaPierre of the NRA. They were followed by Karen Pence who made an unannounced appearance to introduce her husband, Vice President Mike Pence. (Did you know that the VP is a cartoonist? The things you learn at CPAC!) Friday was the most exciting day. While John filled in for Laura Ingraham on her radio show, I got to see her address the CPAC audience before the main event: President Donald Trump. If you have not seen his speech from the event, you can watch it here. I thoroughly recommend watching it, even if it is just the first 5 or so minutes. No one can make fun of one’s bald spot quite like our president.

It was truly inspiring and energizing to be among so many conservatives, particularly young conservatives. We had a constant stream of college students stop by for a chat, many from Minnesota, Wisconsin, South Dakota, and North Dakota. Their enthusiasm for our country and conservative principles was infectious.

After a great few days at CPAC, we passed the baton to Kim Crockett and Catrin Thorman to represent the Center in D.C. That town can’t seem to run without American Experiment for very long.