Rand Wins CPAC 2014 Straw Poll But Does He Have the Ingredients to Win 2016?

Each year at the conclusion of CPAC, the straw poll results are released reflecting the attendee’s preference for the 2016 Presidential nominee.  When reviewing the choices, the first thing I noticed was the number of candidates from which to choose.  TWENTY SIX in total as it seems the GOP didn’t want to leave out any gender, race or region of the country less they be accused of being racist, homophobe, haters of women.

Given not one of the past six CPAC straw poll winners actually secured the party’s nomination, I decided to cull the list of twenty six and review the speeches of Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, and Donald Trump.  Would I agree with the CPAC crowd that Senator Rand Paul should indeed be the GOP’s nominee?

On a side note, sorry to disappoint the libs, but there is no #WarOnWomen here.  Sarah Palin’s speech out performed the Sarah Palin CPAC 2014 Keynote

men by a mile, but she’s one of those oppressed women on the right who makes more money than most men in the nation and wields more political muscle as well.  She’s entirely too smart to run.

Nothing takes the place of being in the room for a speech. You can literally feel the crowd’s reaction to the speaker.  Unfortunately duty called and I missed the majority of the speakers, so I went to my best second option.  YouTube.

I was present however when Rep. Paul Ryan took the stage. While I will admit the man is handsome, this is the only characteristic I find appealing about him at the moment.

Because Rep. Paul Ryan refuses to support House Resolution 36 forming a Benghazi select committee yet is open to amnesty for illegal immigrants, he was dead on arrival for me, as I imagine he was for the majority of those attending.  He had no chance of winning the straw poll and has about the same odds of winning the GOP nomination.

During the speech Ryan said, “let the Democrats be the party of personality, we will be the party of ideas”. Brilliant, if you’re a policy wonk but completely WRONG if you wish to win a national election.  Given the importance of the cult of personality in this lost generation, I’m afraid that leaves out Ryan, Jindal, and Santorum as contenders for the nomination.  Next.

With Christie, Cruz, Paul, Perry, Rubio and Trump remaining, I made the executive decision to vote Donald Trump off of the island of 2016 hopefuls.  Trump is not a team player, he is a blow hard, and he will not run.  Mr. Trump, you’re fired.

After watching the speeches of the last men standing, my vote for 2016 presidential nominee goes to…not any one candidate.

Each potential nominee offers something unique, appealing to one faction of the party or another.  Each potential nominee has a platform, much in common with the others, and has a plan to succeed.  Could I pick a favorite among them, sure, but instead I prefer to take ingredients from each culminating in the dish of my perfect 2016 GOP Presidential nominee-PaulPerryCruzChristieRubio.

My perfect candidate dish would begin with Rand’s liberty message.  It is brilliant and rooted in history to remind Americans ours is a republic based on the rule of law and not of man.  That our republic is one that restrains the government and not the individual, offering opportunity to all with an outcome relying on the individual to maximize the opportunity and rights given by God.

While I loved every single syllable uttered by Senator Paul, his energy, well let’s just say he could use some.  When Paul took the stage, it was difficult to tell if he was giving a speech to CPAC or greeting the staff at his dentist’s office.  Yawn.

From Perry, I’d add a heaping tablespoon of his energy, wit and experience.  Rick Perry is the Governor of the great state of Texas with an economy thriving in the worst recovery since the great depression. His speech centered on domestic policy and the understanding that pain motivates action.

Americans are out of work in historical numbers, they feel hopeless and Perry offers a solution.  During his CPAC speech Governor Perry said, “It is time for Washington to…get out of the healthcare business, get out of education business.  Stop hammering industry, let the sleeping giant of American enterprise create prosperity again”.  When you add his mail delivery witticism to his reminding Americans, “The future of this nation is upon you, it belongs to you! You have the power to change America…you are the path to the future, a light on a distant shore. And you represent the renewed [hope] that America can be great again!”

cpac_20140307_049_s640x426All I could say was, AMEN Mr. Perry, and would you mind lending Rand some of whatever you had before you came out on stage?

From Gov. Chris Christie I would mix together his fearless, non-politically correct presence with his refusal to allow the media to define him, the narrative, or his party.  You may not like Governor Christie, but his everyman appeal connects with the fly over country crowd who pay little attention to politics and believe Bridge-Gate is a bridge that also happens to have a gate.

From Senator Ted Cruz I would add a pinch of his brilliance and his 10 point plan for righting the American course while doubling the amount called for in his keen awareness that the power for real change occurs only when Americans are informed and mobilized into action.

The final ingredient in the 2016 candidate a la perfection dish is a sprinkle of Rubio’s likeability and capacity to connect with all Americans where it matters most, the heart.  Rubio has a great story and no matter the size of his audience when he speaks, it feels as if he is speaking directly to you.  And that feels, well, good.

Rand Paul won the 2014 CPAC straw poll, and he has many of the ingredients mentioned above. His message of liberty and freedom rooted in history and laced with a love of country and fellow man resonates in our post NSA world.  And who knows, maybe he will go down in history as the man who broke CPAC’s straw poll streak and won the party’s nomination.



Wayne Dupree

Wayne Dupree is owner and founder of WayneDupree.com. He was named to the 2017 Newsmax’s 50 Most Influential African-American Republicans. He served in the USAF between 1987-1995. He saw time in Operation Desert Storm/Shield and is the father of three. He is the host of the Wayne Dupree Show.

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