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Guest blogger John Phillips on the lessons of a political visit to Washington and Ann Coulter

Ann Coulter at CPAC 2-11

The Ticket invited Los Angeles talk-show host John Phillips to guest-blog on his impressions of the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington over the weekend. The annual gathering draws conservatives from across the country, including many seen as possible presidential candidates someday.

Here's Phillips' first report right X. His second report is right here. Given reader response, here's a third piece written on the airplane transiting flyover country. We'll try to keep luring him back. Meanwhile, scroll down to see how to hear Phillips every weeknight on the radio and online:

To keep myself from indulging in a $45 Cinnabon at Dulles Airport,  I've decided to review what happened this weekend at CPAC 2011. Here are my highlights, and what we learned.

Best speech of the conference:  Ann Coulter, hands down.  She didn't have Donald Trump's drama, but then again....

..., neither did Susan Sarandon in "Lorenzo's Oil."  Ann was the speaker that everyone wanted to hear... everyone. The activists, other speakers, bloggers and even the mainstream media... and she didn't disappoint.

Ann was hot, funny and delivered more political red meat than a waitress at Lawry's. She also had a prediction that left conservatives with a sinking feeling... “If we [Republicans] don't run [New Jersey Gov.] Chris Christie, [Massachusetts ex-Gov. Mitt] Romney will be the nominee and we'll lose.”

Best quote of the conference: Andrew Breitbart. In reference to the Code Pink ladies, Andrew said, “They used to be slutty they're just long in the tooth.”

In their defense,Button Is it 2012 yet? if you've been in and out of jail as many times as they have, you'd have some miles on your tires too.  Write that down, Lindsay Lohan, it's true.

  Best misquote of the conference: Singer Sophie B. Hawkins and former RNC Chair Michael Steele. While getting jiggy with '80s music at GOProud's Big Gay Dance Party, a Slate magazine blogger quoted Sophie as making an off-color remark about Sarah Palin. With Steele allegedly responding, “Well, she's very attractive.”

We caught up with Steele on Saturday night, and he says it didn't happen...none of it.  Steele also insists that the Depeche Mode music was so loud, even if Sophie had said something, nobody would have been able to hear.

Biggest lesson of the conference: The results of CPAC's 2012 presidential straw poll mean nothing.

Texas Rep. Ron Paul won this year, like Ron Paul wins every year. And then when actual primary voting starts, 'landslide Ron' becomes Susan Lucci at the Daytime Emmys. 

Here's why it's all screwed up. Only about 30% of the attendees end up voting. Which means the only people who vote are the highly-motivated college kids, many of whom attend specifically to vote for Ron Paul.  Nothing can be trusted from an election where one out-of three voters is named "Cody."

To fix the problem, every attendee should get a ballot with their registration. Right there in the CPAC grab bag next to the lanyard, elephant cufflinks and chocolate bust of Milton Friedman. If everyone votes, the results might mean something.

OK, I went to Cinnabon after all -- my chocolate Milty melted.

-- John Phillips


Strangely enough, a man named John Phillips hosts “The John Phillips Show” on Talk Radio KABC-AM (790) in Los Angeles, which can be heard weeknights from 6 to 10 p.m. Pacific time.  Outside Southern California, his show is available live online at  Also follow Phillips on Twitter  @JohnnyDontLike

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Photo: Cliff Owen / Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (3)

The comments to this entry are closed.

I manage Sophie B and was right there during the conversation with Mr. Steele and told SLATE many times they were wrong re: what they claim Sophie said. Sophie spoke about how Michael Steel was great on the Rachael Madow Show. Slate REFUSED to retract it. Thank you for bringing the truth to your readers. Great reporting unlike Slate.

Perhaps the author knows better, as he was there and I was not, but I think Ann Coulter at the start of the speech did anything but throw red meat to the crowd. With all of the Paulites and other Libertarians there, I think it was quite courageous of her to start by dedending the War on Terror and the toppling of Saddam, not to mention W himself. The response, listening to the recording, seemed tepid, as would be expected.

There was red meat later, of course - it would been impolite to do otherwise. But as she pointed out herself, real courage is in saying things that will not get you plaudits from your peers, unlike the pseudo-courage (really just rudeness) of people attacking the previous administration from graduation podiums.

P.S. This page was linked to from her site.

Ann Coulter is a shambling husk of hatred. She must despise herself to live off of the disingenuous bile she spews.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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