Many right-leaning politicians will speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference this weekend, testing the waters (and the straw poll) to see how they might fare as presidential candidates. The list includes lots of the names you’ve been hearing: Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney, Donald Trump, Tim Pawlenty, Haley Barbour — wait, hold on a second. Donald Trump?
Yes, it’s true. The Donald himself is a last-minute addition to the CPAC schedule. Although he’s been mentioning on television that he’s thinking about a run, this is his first real foray into the field. And it’s a real one: CPAC has long been the unofficial kickoff to the Republican primary race. It’s aimed at the aggressive right (panel discussions include “Bleeding America Dry: The Threat of Public Sector Unions,” “How Political Correctness is Harming America’s Military,” and “Traditional Marriage and Society”), which is the sector to which candidates will have to pander before moving to the center during the general election.
Presumably, during his speech, Trump will share his political views on subjects other than finance and the economy. Because, well, do we even know what they are? Is he even a social conservative? Chances are, even if he isn’t normally, he will be one today.
Trump Will Speak at CPAC [Caucus/NYT]
Related: “If I Can’t Trust Donald Trump, Who Can I Trust?” [NYM]