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February 08, 2008

Coulter's Speech at CPAC

Not actually at CPAC, as she wasn't invited by CPAC itself. Rather she was invited by the YAF and held her speech in a room in the hotel.

I just saw her. As the recording will soon be up and running, I'm not going to bother quoting what you can see for yourselves shortly.

Some basic takes:

First of all, everyone who was watching her speech for the reasons they say people watch car races -- for the crashes and carnage -- came away disappointed. She was funny but mostly substantive. She had two "edgy" zingers, neither one all that bad. First, she did a call-back to her notorious "faggot" line about John Edwards, saying that Hillary wanted to change her campaign song again to Eyes of a Woman but John Edwards already was using it.

Eh. Kind of obligatory to reference that joke again. And since then, hell, everyone's doing that joke so I can't be bothered too much by it.

The other line which I don't think was intended to be a joke just seemed to come out wrong. She was making the point that John McCain, being 71, was set in his ways and would not be changing his ways to please conservatives. At his age, she said, he's playing for posterity -- for the "obituary page."

This got some shocked rumbles of "ooohs" but she immediately explained and softened what she'd meant -- that someone at his age isn't worried about a further political career, but only what history will say about him, and history is written by liberals and so that's who he'll be playing to.

I really think this was just an off-the-cuff remark that came out a lot darker and edgier than it was ever intended to. Still, I expect some will be making hay over this.


I have to say that since I arrived here, I've been reconciling myself with a McCain candidacy, and presidency. Fifth stage of grief -- acceptance. But Ann Coulter isn't there yet. She's still in the anger stage, baby. And though I came into the room willing to get behind McCain, I left being a lot more unsure.

Mary Katharine Ham just told me the same thing, except, she said, she was even further along the McCain-acceptance process and Ann pushed her well off it. At least for now.

Is Ann Coulter serious about supporting Hillary over McCain? My take is that she's half-joking, half-serious, half-gobsmacked that her Republican Party could be so utterly stupid, and half-convinced by her own Case For Hillary. It's not that she's just being provocative. I think she really is half-convinced (but only half) that Hillary would be a better President than McCain.

And I have to say that after her rip on McCain -- McCain got far more Coulter venom than either Hillary or Obama -- I'm maybe a quarter-convinced.

One point she made that I was unaware of: McCain was "hysterical" that Bush's rules for the military tribunals to try the terrorists did not allow the terrorists to see the top-secret intelligence gathered against them. Now, note that their lawyers could see the intelligence; it was just the terrorists themselves couldn't. And yet McCain found this objectionable.

And Hillary? Well, Hillary obviously loves torture. "Have you heard her speeches?" Coulter joked.

Coulter is apparently far more of a Mitt Romney supporter than I realized. She wasn't, it seems, supporting him simply as the least objectionable of a shabby lot. She actually affirmatively, enthusiastically supports him, and says the one thing that will cause her to vote for McCain is if Romney is his Vice Presidential nominee.

And not because she has any illusions that Romney will "balance" Maverick McCain's erratic impulses to the left. Just because she expects the McCain ticket, no matter who serves as number two, to fail miserably in November and wants the Vice Presidential slot given to Romney to make him the presumptive nominee for 2012.

It's a shame that Romney had such a big, and unexpected, supporter and yet she didn't go on record endorsing him earlier. Ah well. What might have been.

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posted by Ace at 06:48 PM

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