What are they thinking?
Even leaving aside for a moment the controversy always swirling around Norquist (the Islamist) at CPAC (as I said last night in my post about Pamela Geller), is this the image these Republican candidates the duo plans to fete — cigar-smoking, whiskey-drinking, money-rolling Republicans—the one they want projected to their constituents or would-be constituents?
I’m not a prude, but if I were a Democrat operative (or working for a campaign for a Democrat candidate opposing these people) I would be in there taking photos. Imagine the image splashed across the district back home of your candidate shown smoking a stogy with Norquist? Can you say death wish!
Here is what David Catanese of Politico says about the event (emphasis mine):
Two freshman Republicans who face challenging reelection paths will headline an after-hours “scotch and cigar” fundraiser at the Conservative Political Action Conference Thursday night.
Michigan Rep. Dan Benishek* and New York Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle are just two of the incumbents that One Nation PAC is throwing its support behind at its second annual CPAC reception.
Anti-tax champion Grover Norquist and former Maryland Gov. Bob Ehrlich** are headlining the fundraiser for the PAC that’s asking for donations of $50 to $1000. Rhode Island Senate candidate Barry Hinckley is also expected to attend.
“It’s another memorable night with fellow conservatives where you receive a cigar and open selection of whiskeys for three hours, plus mingling with members of Congress and other distinguished guests,” the invite reads.
But critics note that in 2010, One Nation PAC spent a paltry $20,299 on actual candidates.
Here is One Nation PAC’s website. I had to laugh when I saw they were concerned about national security.
* Here is the ad for the event that Catanese has linked with the list of those being “honored.” As I write this I don’t see Benishek on it. I hope not. Remember he was the guy who challenged Bart Stupak the longtime Congressman for the district after Stupak sold out Catholics on Obamacare by voting for the bill. Stupak ultimately chose not to run again. Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit urged everyone to send Benishek contributions, here. Benishek is a doctor, does he even smoke?
** Ehrlich is Romney’s campaign chairman in Maryland.