TAMPA, Fla. — What was by far one of the most-discussed and best-attended of convention parties Monday night was that co-hosted by the American Conservative Union and the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC). Known as ‚??Nuestra Noche‚?Ě and held at the venerable Cuban Club in the Ybor City (the predominantly Cuban-American part of Tampa), the event attracted hundreds of conservatives who waited patiently in long lines to attend.
And when they got in, guests saw the stars come out. ‚??Nuestra Noche‚?Ě drew quite a fair number of famosos, and all of them on the conservative side. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, both reportedly considered as possible running mates for Mitt Romney, were there. So was former UN Ambassasdor John Bolton, only days after Human Events listed him as secretary of state in a ‚??Dream Cabinet‚?Ě of a Romney administration.
Oklahoma‚?? Sen. Jim Inhofe, once dubbed the most conservative senator by Human Events, dropped by as well. So did a lot of ‚??young leaders for tomorrow‚?Ě that this reporter got to know covering U.S. politics. Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli of Virginia, who makes no bones about running for governor in 2013, came by. Another young ‚??up and comer,‚?Ě Georgia Attorney General Sam Owens, was on hand to offer observations about the party rules fight that was feared for days but had finally been worked out, and Wisconsin‚??s Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, who had helped Gov. Scott Walker survive the celebrated recall movement, came to say hello.
A key player in platform fights, Indiana GOP National Committee James Bopp, Jr. came in with wife Tina and their daughter. And California State GOP Chairman Tom Del Beccaro was there as well. One non-Republican whose arrival at the club raised a few eyebrows was former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, now on the ballot in all 50 states as the Libertarian candidate for president.
‚??I‚??m not sure you want to write about this,‚?Ě Carolyn Meadows of Georgia, an ACU and National Rife Association board member, told this reporter. ‚??You may miss one of the conservative leaders for tomorrow who dropped by. There were just too many of them in one place.‚?Ě