Rosemont, Illinois (CNN) – Conservative leaders and grassroots activists, emboldened after a major victory in Wisconsin, will gather near Chicago on Friday with one main goal: plot more political wins in the Midwest.
Still celebrating Gov. Scott Walker's recall survival three days ago, conservative leaders and grassroots activists will attend the one-day Conservative Political Action Conference in Rosemont.
The location is noteworthy.
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The gathering - the first of two regional Conservative Political Action Conference events expected this year - will take place in President Barack Obama's home state. The site is just a short trip from his downtown Chicago re-election operation.
"Conservatives take back the Midwest," blarred the headline on a promotional flier that also said attendees would "take the fight for the future of America directly to President Barack Obama's backyard!"
The event, sponsored by the American Conservative Union, "will energize and mobilize Midwestern conservatives, giving them the tools needed to defeat the liberal agenda in 2012," organizers said in a separate news release.
The list of speakers is also notable.
Former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum is expected to announce the formation of a political committee to advance pet issues.
And a roster of other high profile Republicans will speak: including Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich, former presidential candidates Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann, and anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist.
Perhaps most notable will be a handful of potential Mitt Romney running mates - their speeches to surely fuel speculation they are in full-on vice president audition mode.
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who officially endorsed Romney on Thursday night, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell will all address crowds.
Near day's end, attendees will vote, in a straw poll, for who they would like to be Romney's running mate.
The Illinois tea party, a sponsor of the event, wrote on its website about the straw poll, "You can help influence the race for VP by voting."
In addition to speeches, attendees will participate in panel discussions intended for political education and firing up enthusiastic conservatives. "Reagan Doctrine v. Obama Doctrine: Comparing the Foreign Policy Agendas of Illinois' Sons," is the title of one panel. "Winning the Left's War on Traditional Values and Religious Freedom" is another.
One panel title seems especially emblematic.
"The Midwest Stands Up to Union Special Interests" seems geared toward recreating in other Midwestern states the conservative victory over labor unions in Wisconsin after a bruising battle over collective bargaining rights.
And yet, conservatives face an uphill climb to make sweeping gains in the Midwest. According to CNN's analysis of the electoral landscape, Illinois is reliably Obama territory; and Wisconsin and Michigan both favor the president. Iowa and Ohio - two states Obama won in 2008 - are toss-ups. Only Missouri and Indiana are listed as leaning Romney.
Thousands of conservatives attend the Conservative Political Action Conference annual gathering in Washington D.C. The American Conservative Union has hosted CPAC since 1974. Moving the event to Chicago is only the group's "second-ever regional event," organizers said in a news release.
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"Take back the Midwest" from WHAT??
These fools can barely contain their racism. We all know what they are trying to "take back" everything from...
Yes folks SCOTUS says money is a form of free speech and here come the "freedom lovers" to take yours away from you....They can hire lawyers (thugs) to get you dirt cheap but you can't exercise your freedom of speech to hire yourselves some lawyers(thugs) to negotiate better wages.....Boy am I impressed with all the freedom love they are trying to spread....Aren't you?
Midwest should know by know. American middle Class, unionized members, women and latinos of this corn-belt area, laid-off teachers-police- firefighters etc make big clamor and pelmel to defeat Rich GOP drama and nasty ruse. Yes, obama2012.
"Former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum is expected to announce the formation of a political committee to advance pet issues."
:) 'Ol Ricky is still mad at losing and will name the committe Seamus in honor of the dog Romney strapped to the top of a car for 1200 mile trip throught freezing weather.
So, what do they plan on endorsing or cutting from the budget that people need? I don't think that these people don't understand fully what the people have come to rely on from federal, state and local governments. It would be nice if they learned. Christie hasn't.
The vote on a single governor being re-elected from a recall over very specific issues in Wisconsin are not and cannot be made into a national movement. the items in question are and were not major issues in the national campaign any more now than before = mainly debt and jobs. ther is no proof that walkers policies creates jobs and the budget is not yet fully balanced and the state still has much debt.
Of course Republicans can and should be encouraged, but governership electionand presidential elections are notoriously different as are individual district and senate elections which are driven by many more wider issues than those in the Wsconsin re-call.
"Take back"... Take back where, to the failed policies of Bush? Take us back before women or minorities had any rights? Take us back where???