Outside the main CPAC ballroom early this afternoon, mostly male college-age volunteers with Young Americans for Liberty passed out stickers and signs emblazoned with the words Stand With Rand, which became a rallying cry for Paul supporters last week during the senator's epic thirteen-hour filibuster. In the run-up to Paul's speech at CPAC this afternoon, some Paulites suggested taking the motto literally: Earlier this week, Ryan Bolyard, the president of the Hillsdale College Republicans, called on CPAC attendees to remain standing for the duration of Paul's speech in a demonstration of solidarity. "I hope to have everyone at CPAC participate,” Bolyard said. “Those that do not hear about the event on Facebook will hopefully understand what is going on and join in.”
It didn't quite turn out that way. One side of the ballroom remained completely seated during Paul's nineteen-minute speech ...
... while the other side was perhaps half seated and half standing.
Nevertheless, Bolyard told us afterwards that he was "very happy with the response."
Besides, the Paul faction of the GOP was able to flex their muscle in other ways. Signs are banned from the main ballroom where all the speeches take place, but YAL was able to secure the right to bring all those Stand With Rand signs in if they instructed supporters only to wave them when Paul was speaking and promised to collect them afterwards. CPAC organizers were "very accommodating," Ed King, YAL's director of programs and operations told us.
Meanwhile, a supporter of Rick Santorum's Patriot Voices organization was forced to leave her sign outside, sad and alone.