And this, in turn, presents every would-be presidential candidate with an interesting challenge. Because CPAC isn’t about gratifying party elites or wealthy Republican grandees. Neither is it about pleasing the Republican “base” -- by which we mean the masses of voters who prefer conservative policies. At CPAC, you try to satisfy the conservative movement itself -- whose members are most on the cutting edge of American conservatism, and always spoiling for a fight with anyone deemed to be lacking in purity.
So, we’re going to take another stab at ranking the GOP’s would-be nominees. However, this week we’re going to force ourselves to examine the field while looking through the CPAC prism -- a filter capable of making you question if the contender you thought was golden is really black and blue.
Candidate Photos: Getty, Associated Press