By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers
The Democrats have Renaissance Weekend, and now conservatives are trying to catch up with their own weekend of policy brainstorming. Several tell our Suzi Parker that they are planning for the Steamboat Institute Inaugural Freedom Conference, slated for August 28-29 in Colorado.
It's time, says Grover Norquist, founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform and one of the weekend's speakers. "You saw the excitement about the April 15 Tea Party rallies and the July 4 rallies. There is a groundswell of grass-roots opposition to big government," he says in a reference to one of the major topics.
The centerpiece of the mountain weekend will be the principles of the Founding Fathers as championed by Ronald Reagan and how they apply to the modern conservative movement. One of Reagan's sons, radio host Michael Reagan, will give the keynote address at the event in Steamboat Springs.
"We are literally going to the mountaintop to inspire conservatives how we can get out of the valley and reclaim the shining city on the hill," says Kirsten Fedewa, cofounder and a board member of the Steamboat Institute. "This is a Renaissance weekend for Republicans."
Michael Reagan says he is tired of politicians trying to define his father. "I sat and listened during the last election cycle, trying to define what my father meant," he says. "I don't remember them being in the room when it was being done."
Pundit Tony Blankley, also a speaker at the event, says it's not about influencing the 2012 election but rather about the 2010 midterms. "Like all parties that have been smashed in elections, it [the Republican Party] has to regain their bearings," he says. "But that's not going to happen with one meeting or one group. Once we figure all that out, the other requirement is the governing party screws up."
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