A gathering of thousands of conservatives is under way in Washington, D.C.
The Conservative Political Action Conference brings together a who's who in Republican politics and the tea party for three days of speech-making, panel discussions and networking. Activists, students, candidates and campaign staff are among those who will mingle, aiming toward one goal: booting President Barack Obama from office.
Among the A-list is Alaska's own Sarah Palin, former governor, vice presidential candidate, reality TV star, and frontier woman who's branded herself in the political sphere as a not-to-be-messed-with mama grizzly. She's scheduled to give the closing speech at 4:30 p.m. EST Saturday.
Conference speakers aren't shying away from hot-button topics that have become both battle lines and rallying cries for the upcoming election. Political hopefuls are therefore warned that hard lines on race and immigration could be awkward, reports National Public Radio, citing panel discussions on how the pursuit of diversity weakens American identity and a similar identity-themed discussion on immigration and borders.
Joe Miller, the Republican U.S. Senate Nominee for Alaska who lost his 2010 election bid to incumbent Lisa Murkowski, has tweeted he's "@CPAC & working 2 ensure true conservatives commit 2 Restore Liberty."
After his election loss, Miller founded the political-action committee Restoring Liberty. Core goals of the group include electing conservatives who believe in small government and will defend states' rights under the 10th Amendment.
The Washington Post is blogging from the event, offering highlights on the speakers and the crowd. On Thursday, the posts included Texas Gov. Rick Perry's quip to Clint Eastwood's politically over-toned "Halftime in America" Super Bowl commercial, and a recap of Herman Cain's remarks in which the one-time presidential hopeful compared himself to the biblical David.