First Gov. Chris Christie, and now CPAC’s leaving Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell off their 2013 invitation list.
And while Govs. Christie and McDonnell will be sitting at home, other notable Republicans–like Donald Trump, Mitt Romney, and Sarah Palin–will be attending the conservative get together and representing the direction of the party for the year. Which begs the question: are these the faces of the new, re-branded Republican Party? It sure looks like the same faces and the same message.
Christie and McDonnell are not without sin (in Republican eyes). Christie may have been left off the list for his support of President Obama in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, and Gov. McDonnell’s recent decision raise taxes to fund transportation infrastructure in Virginia may have gotten him sidelined. But this is the same Bob McDonnell who signed into a law a bill requiring women to have an ultrasound procedure before they can legally have an abortion. True, he did help to soften the bill, making the required procedure less invasive than the highly publicized transvaginal probe. But the resulting bill was still nothing to be celebrated by pro-choice proponents.
Where the conference was once directly correlated with the Republican Party’s message, Steve Kornacki wonders if we may be at a point where CPAC just doesn’t mean what it used to. And he’s not alone. Newt Gingrich, who is invited to CPAC, said Wednesday that even he isn’t sure “what the purpose of CPAC is anymore.”
So maybe being snubbed isn’t so bad after all.