I was stunned. Literally, I cannot remember a more inspirational speech by a national-level politician since my youth listening to Ronald Reagan. Rep. Paul tackled the GOP sacred cow of defense spending, of ending the Federal Reserve, of protecting the Constitution by protecting our natural civil and fiscal liberties. After all my studying and devotion to politics, he at a national level unabashedly set forth exactly what needs to be done. And the fact that he was willing to tackle the difficult issues vaulted him in my mind as the biggest principled debt- and government-shrinking zealot out there: and that is precisely what we need right now as a country to save us from ourselves and our $14T debt tsunami.
So then I started to compare other CPAC presidential hopeful speeches. Second-place Romney came across as an Obama-attack dog. That's a good thing. Yet what Paul did was better: to provide specific principles and solutions to an ever power-massing federal government. Tonight I watched Hannity's show on Fox News and he played a CPAC excerpt of Donald Trump saying Paul couldn't win while completely neglecting any excerpt from Paul, the huge victor. (Presidential straw poll votes for Trump were lumped in the "other" category.) Hannity's actions tonight were blatantly anti-Paul.
As for myself, I have yet to commit to any candidate. I like Cain, Palin, Christie, Bachmann, and now Paul a whole lot and like a whole lot less Huntsman, Gingrich, and Trump. Kind of between the two groups of like and like a lot less lie Romney, Huckabee, Santorum, Barbour, Thune, and Jindal. Pawlenty and Daniels I don't know well enough to put into any category yet.
Here's some of the great guzzles I extracted from Paul's speech; full vid follows:
"We need to do a lot less a lot sooner not only in Egypt, but around the world."
"It used to be Conservatives were against foreign aid. I'm still against foreign aid for everybody."
"Foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of a rich country and giving it to the rich people of a poor country...and there can't be a be example of that than what we did with Egypt."
"People don't like us propping up their dictators no more than we would like it if a foreign country came in here an propped up a dictator in our country."
"We've had troops in Japan since WWII and Germany: why are we paying for their defense?"
"The bill to audit the Fed is the first step to ending the Federal Reserve."
"[The Fed] eliminated 98% of the value of 1913 the dollar."
"The purpose of all political activity is to promote Liberty."
"Liberty comes from our Creator. It doesn't come from our government."
"When government takes over the role of making us virtuous, in making us excellent, and redistributing the wealth, they only do it at the expense of liberty: and that's why we're in such terrible shape today."