In his CPAC Wrap-up at The Lid, Jeff Dunetz explains that much of what the media reported about the conservative confab just wasn't so:
Sarah Palin Did Not “Pull Out” Of Giving The Final Speech At CPAC... This year CPAC once again tried to arrange for a conservative mega-star to give the final address. The press reported that Sarah Palin had agreed to give the speech but pulled out when it was announced that GOProud a group of gay conservatives were participating in the event. That was a total fabrication.For the moment at least, forget GOProud, Islamofascist influences, FedExGate and other CPAC controversies. The once respectable annual winter gathering of conservatives started going downhill when the Ronulans started trying to dominate it a couple of years ago. Now it's not really all that conservative anymore, and it's just another club for the left to beat us with. The CPAC acronym has become shorthand for Crazy Paulnut Annual Comedy.
First and most important was the fact that Sarah Palin never accepted the invite to appear at CPAC. Secondly, Ms. Palin supported the group’s participation in the conference.
Ron Paul Supporters' Hate Was Under-Reported, Their Presence Was Over Reported. Every year at CPAC Ron Paul’s political action committee buses supporters to the convention (more on that later). While this group does not represent more than 15-20% of the attendees, they are very passionate, very unruly and very bigoted.
The mainstream press correctly reported some Paulocks were calling Cheney and Rumsfeld war criminals, but left out that they were also screaming "shekels" a reference to the bogus anti-Semitic Ron Paul claim that Israel control's our foreign policy and got the US into Iraq war.
The mainstream press protects Ron Paul, his crazy positions create a wealth of story ideas, and his continued participation provides the opportunity to label the entire conservative, Republican and/or libertarian movements as right-wing extremist nut jobs.
Ron Paul Purchased the Straw-Poll Victory
The meaning of Ron Paul’s victory was simple; his PAC The Campaign For Liberty was willing to pay for the victory.
It is part of the Texas Congressman’s strategy. He doesn’t have enough supporters to win real primaries or caucuses; usually they get about 2% of the vote, Paul tries to win the unofficial votes to give the appearance of being a front-runner.
As they do every CPAC, this year Paul's Campaign for Liberty reserved blocks of tickets for CPAC and urged supporters to come out and support their guru. Many of these unruly supporters were college students who volunteered (and some say paid) to make sure that Paul winds up with the straw poll win. They even bused in 700 kids for the effort. During the conference, the young Paulocks were all over the place, on the conference floor and even in the bloggers lounge, handing out “Campaign for Liberty” lapel stickers, pitching them as “giving away free liberty," all with the purpose of winning a meaningless straw poll.
Only 3,742 of the 11,000 conference attendees voted in the Straw Poll. Ron Paul got 30% or approximately 1,123 votes which represents about 10% of the attendees.
Related: More from RedState.com here and here.