Next Thursday marks the start of the Conservative Political Action Conference, commonly known as CPAC, where conservative activists gather every year in Northwest Washington, D.C.
It's a chance for bigwigs to make speeches to a ballroom full of influential types, which makes it a particularly choice venue for Republican presidential aspirants, which speak there regularly. It's a packed three-day schedule from Thursday through Saturday, so there's room enough for most of them.
Tea party hero Michele Bachmann, whose office indicated in January that she's considering a 2012 run, will be the first of the 2012ers to speak. Bachmann, many will recall, just delivered a televised response to President Obama's State of the Union address, orchestrated by the group Tea Party Express.
Here are the people generally discussed as possible 2012 candidates who will be speaking there next week:
- Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.) - 9:15 a.m. Thursday
- Fmr. Speaker Newt Gingrich - 12:30 p.m. Thursday
- Fmr. Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.) - 2:00 p.m. Thursday
- Fmr. Gov. Mitt Romney (Mass.) - 10:30 a.m. Friday
- Sen. John Thune (S.D.) - 1:30 p.m. Friday
- Fmr. Gov. Tim Pawlenty (Minn.) - 3:00 p.m. Friday
- Rep. Ron Paul (Texas) - 3:30 p.m. Friday
- Gov. Rick Perry (Texas) - 4:00 p.m. Friday
- Herman Cain - 4:30 p.m. Friday
- Gov. Mitch Daniels (Ind.) - 7:30 p.m. Friday, at Reagan Banquet
- Gov. Haley Barbour (Miss.) - 9:30 a.m. Saturday
That's most of the unofficial 2012 GOP list. Notable absences: Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, and former Utah governor/ current U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman. Daniels will speak at the event's Friday-night banquet.
Also speaking on the main stage will be Rep. Paul Ryan (Wisc.), the House Budget Committee Chairman who delivered the official GOP State of the Union response, as well as several other Republican senators and House members.