[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/09/08/art.pawlenty.gi.jpg caption="Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty will speak at the conference on Friday evening."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Conservatives will descend upon the nation's capital Friday for the 2009 "Values Voter Summit," the fourth annual gathering of like-minded political activists who will plot 2010 strategy and hear several potential presidential prospects discuss the GOP's future.
In-between speeches, attendees will also participate in forums with titles ranging from “Thugocracy: Fighting The Vast Left Wing Conspiracy” to “Global Warming Hysteria.”
Perhaps the most anticipated event of the weekend will be "2012 Presidential Straw Poll," the results of which are scheduled to be announced Saturday.
The potential Republican candidates on the ballot are: former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Indiana Rep. Mike Pence, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.
Romney won a similar straw poll in February at the Conservative Political Action Conference, which was held at the same hotel and featured many of the same speakers. Romney also won the last Values Voter straw poll - in October 2007 - when he narrowly defeated Huckabee in a vote that was open to both attendees and people who signed up to vote on the internet. This year’s survey will only be open to conference-goers.
Just four of the Republicans on the ballot will actually attend the event. Pence, Huckabee and Pawlenty will address the conference on Friday morning, while Romney will deliver remarks on Saturday.
Palin was invited to the event, but according to organizers, the former GOP vice presidential nominee never confirmed she would attend.
Among the other conservative luminaries slated to speak: Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, Georgia Rep. Tom Price, New Jersey Rep. Chris Smith, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Miss California Carrie Prejean.
If this is all the GOP has to offer then President Obama is a shoe-in in 2012.
If I didn't know better, sadly, the forums sound like segments more properly found on SNL. Is there no one left in the Party of Lincoln with a sane and reasonable voice? Thugocracy? Isn't that what Dick Cheney ran for nearly 8 years, with his own privately bought army of assasins? Good Grief! Global Warming is what, a hoax? That's what my right wing sister tells me. It's a hoax! Drill baby drill! Have we lost our most basic ability to reason, which separates us from the other animals out there? Or have we simply lost our minds?
WOW who is impressed? A complete circle jerk.