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« Morning Thoughts: Brother Can You Spare $5 Mil | Blog Home Page | Illinois Selects Cong Nominees »

Everything To C Here

Republicans head to the Conservative Political Action Conference in Northwest Washington today, preparing to be wowed by the biggest names and brightest lights in the GOP. Vice President Dick Cheney joins Texas Governor Rick Perry, Bob Novak, George Will, Grover Norquist and, for the first time in his eight years in the White House, even President Bush will stop by to address the fawning masses.

So too will John McCain, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul, and the stakes could not be greater. On Super Tuesday, McCain did not perform all that well among conservatives, and many in the movement say they would even be willing to undergo four years of Hillary Clinton if they could avoid McCain as their party leader. Romney was trying to set himself up as the conservative alternative, though his efforts fell short, thanks at least in part to Mike Huckabee's presence in the race.

Romney will head to the hotel today around noon, while McCain is set to be there around 3:00 p.m. How conservatives act toward both of them will be key not only to Romney's increasingly long-shot bid for the nomination but for McCain's own chances in November.

It's not as if McCain is unaware of the issue: He's already enlisted backer and conservative Senator Sam Brownback to reach out to Tony Perkins, of the Family Research Council, and other righty leaders to soothe tensions and help McCain's cause, The Hill reports.

McCain had initially planned to show a video comparing himself to Ronald Reagan, though he has reportedly scrapped those plans and will be introduced instead by conservative Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn. The idea of a video had met with scorn from some conservative bloggers, who suggested it might backfire.

Will conservatives accept McCain and decide to back him, for the good of the party? Or will their leaders, led by Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham and Ann Coulter, convince them to stay home? Check Politics Nation this afternoon for a full report on McCain's CPAC speech.