It is one of the bugs we have to work out. On the weekend of the RedState Gathering, there’s very little content about the RedState Gathering at RedState. Most of us are at the event. Next year we will have to live stream the whole thing on the front page.
This year’s event was a great success. I could not have put this event together without Caleb Howe. He is an indispensable part of the success of the event. This year, Elizabeth Setterlin and Joe Guerriero at Eagle Publishing really helped out too. And, of course, Donna Howe deserves special thanks for keeping Caleb and me in line.
Our speakers were amazing. Thanks to Governor Rick Scott for a great party on Friday night and then a great welcome to the event. Governor Jindal brought the house down. For a guy who supposedly can’t give a good speech, he got repeated standing ovations and used no teleprompter.
David Limbaugh, Ken Cuccinelli, Karen Handel, Ron Johnson, Jim Jordan, Ted Cruz, Reince Priebus, Sharon Day, Dana Loesch, and so many other exceptional speakers got up close and personal with several hundred grassroots activists. They spoke, answered questions, shook hands, and posed for pictures.
This was the first major event Ted Cruz attended since winning last Tuesday. He hung out with the crowd on Thursday night meeting everyone and then spoke Friday morning. This is what makes RedState Gatherings so unique — the candidates come to hang out, not just rush in and out.
On Saturday, NBC News showed up and broke the story to the world that Governor Bobby Jindal gave a pretty strong show of support to Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI, HAFA 76%). It wasn’t an endorsement, but it was pretty strong. By the way, I have to say I was impressed with NBC’s coverage of the RedState Gathering. For a network we are all skeptical of, it was really fair, its reporter was quite engaging, and it was willing to show up.
There are a few thank you’s that are essential this year. We could not have put the event together and kept the cost to attendees as low as we did without some major sponsors. The Franklin Center and Ending Spending were our major sponsors this year. They were jointed by Freedom Works, Heritage Action for America, and the Madison Project. Thanks to them for their support and assistance.
We have to also give a special thank you to American Majority. In addition to some truly brilliant training sessions, American Majority provided a crew this year to help with registration. This was the first time we didn’t grab random RedState readers to help out. We could not have done this event without Ned Ryun and his fabulous team at American Majority.
I must also thank the outstanding crew at Breitbart.com. It is kind of funny that over the weekend of the RedState Gathering, Breitbart.com had more coverage of it than us. Thanks guys. Same goes for the outstanding team at Human Events. Cathy Taylor and Pat Frank are both joys to work with and provided a camera and stream of major speeches. The always excellent John Hayward gave us diligent online coverage. I am so proud of Cathy Taylor’s work at Human Events and was so glad she could be at this year’s Gathering.
Lastly, and most importantly, thanks to all of you. The RedState Gathering is like a family reunion for RedState and every year new members of the family come. I met new people and made new friends as did so many others at the Gathering. Four years ago we couldn’t really think of a name for the event. I’d been calling it a “gathering” and it just stuck. Each year like minded conservative activists gather to support small government conservatives and meet face to face.
This year we met at the Jacksonville, FL Omni Hotel. We’re going to do it all over again next year. Originally, because it was our 5th year, we were going to go back to Atlanta, where it all began. But I’m wondering if Governor Jindal might take up the challenge to see if he can throw a better party for the attendees than Governors Perry, Haley, and Scott have these past years. Hmmmm . . . . stay tuned.
The RedState Gathering grows and gets better every single year. We’re already less than a year from the next one. I hope to see you then.