This weekend, at the Breakers Resort in Palm Beach, a veritable who's who of conservative power-players and heavy-hitters converged to discuss, debate, relax and honor three their own. From Thursday, 11/19 to Sunday, 11/22 the David Horowitz Freedom Center's 'Restoration Weekend' drew together conservative politicians, pundits, authors, analysts and icons from around the nation.
Some of the speakers and guests that attended this gala event were: the host David Horowitz, former-Speaker of the House-Newt Gingrich, author-Ann Coulter, former-presidential candidate and US Senator-Fred Thompson, Phyllis Schlafly, Rep. Michelle Bachmann, State Representative Adam Hasner, Pamela Geller-of Atlas Shrugs, House Minority Leader-John Boehner, Democratic Strategist-Pat Caddell, Scott Wheeler, Andrew Klavan, George Gilder, Jonah Goldberg, Robert Spencer, Frank Gaffney, Steve Moore-of the Wall Street Journal, Andrew McCarthy, Bruce Bawer, Congressmen Ed Royce and Thaddeus McCotter, Major General Paul Vallely, Liz Cheney, Michael Ledeen, Dave Bossie and US Senator Jim DeMint.
There was a great award ceremony where former-presidential candidate, Senator Fred Thompson was the keynote speaker. His speech though well received and insightful, wasn't very stirring. Ann Coulter, not known for gushing over anyone, gushed over recipient of the Annie Taylor Award, Phyllis Schlafly. Schlafly is a conservative icon. In addition to being a brilliant strategic thinker, she also almost single-handedly defeated the E.R.A.. Ms. Coulter spoke highly of her hero for about 10 minutes in a very heartfelt introduction. It was an excellent introduction and fascinating for showing Ann Coulter in a different light. Also honored were the filmmakers that exposed ACORN, Sean O'Keefe and Hannah Giles.
Newt Gingrich gave a speech about how the Republican Party can take back control of Congress. The former speaker had some interesting tactical ideas. However, the Speaker's "moderate" streak was on full display, as he suggested that if a district was so heavily Democrat that "a Republican could never win", then rather than running a Republican we ought to support a "moderate" Democrat. His suggestion that Republicans should challenge Democrats from dogcatcher to the Senate seemed contradictory, but the crowd gave him a standing ovation for it.
The best and most well received speech was given by the fantastic Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota. She made no secret of the fact she believes Al Franken stole the US Senate election from Norm Coleman. She spoke of being the left's number one target (maybe number 2 after Sarah Palin), speaking not as a victim, but pointing to the fact that the left knows it's ideas are failing and that their arguments fall short, so they attack the messenger. Bachmann got 3 standing ovations from a receptive audience that obviously would like to see her lead the conservatives back into the leadership of the House GOP. After her rousing speech Rep. Bachmann was inundated by the crowd, looking for photo-ops and the chance to shake her hand and thank her for her efforts.
Also in attendance was candidate for the US House of Representatives in Florida's 19th Congressional District, Edward Lynch. Mr. Lynch met with Newt Gingrich, John Boehner, Michele Bachmann, Thaddeus McCotter, Fred Thompson, Major General Paul Vallely and others to discuss issues including: defense policy, healthcare, illegal immigration and how to mount a successful GOP sweep in 2010, starting with District Nineteen's special election on April 6th.
Lynch looked every bit like our next congressman as he discussed the serious issues that confront our nation, with seasoned legislators, military experts, veterans (including 3 Congressional Medal of Honor winners) and authors. Major General Vallely was extremely impressed with Lynch's grasp of the issues and his positions. This may explain, in part, why the general recently gave Edward his endorsement.
The panel discussions and lectures included "Obama's Radical Transformation of America", "Culture Panel: Is Hollywood Changing?" and "How to Win in 2010". There was a moving tribute video celebrating the late Ron Silver and then there was the great Citizens United Film Festival, which included 'Perfect Valor' and 'Ronald Reagan Rendezvous with Destiny'. The Freedom Center's 'Restoration Weekend' was a fantastic gathering of some of the best conservative minds in America. It was a pleasure having this group of exceptional Americans in our backyard.