The American Conservative Union just announced that Mitt Romney will address this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Rep. Paul Ryan was already on the list of announced speakers, as are up-and-coming Republicans such as Senators Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Tim Scott, and Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin.
The other finalists from the 2012 presidential race, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, will also deliver speeches, although it currently appears that Rand will have to handle things for the Paul family. Which means there probably won’t be as much disruptive shouting from the peanut gallery. Sometimes the Ron Paul crowd was annoying, but they made for a lively conference, and it was fun to scowl at them.
I see some griping and sarcasm on Twitter about Romney’s presence. It’s always disappointing when a candidate loses, even more so when the stakes were as high as they were in 2012. I have my own little bushel of sour grapes. But it’s silly not to take the opportunity to hear what Romney has to say, and learn from it. His supporters will continue to value his insights, while his detractors will surely appreciate the opportunity to pick his speech apart.
Personally, I thought he was getting a lot better in the waning days of the campaign, when Hurricane Sandy sucked away a lot of his media oxygen, and his performance at the first presidential debate should never be taken away from him. I look forward to hearing what the man who gave this speech has to say now.