These are the most important people EVER!
According to an internal draft of the minute-by-minute schedule at CPAC, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, and Scott Walker are each slated to give 13-minute remarks on the main stage. Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan, however, get eleven minutes to deliver their comments. Former presidential candidate Rick Santorum is scheduled for a mere seven minutes.
The biggest winners in the time lottery are Sarah Palin (16 minutes) and Donald Trump (14 minutes). Palin and Trump are expected to be crowd-pleasers at CPAC: News of their respective appearances caused ticket sales to spike, according to a source.
Let's put aside that the "source" is, more likely than not, Trump himself, and let's instead focus on having a good hearty chuckle about how the annual conservative circle jerk sure is promising to be extra circle jerky this year. Chris Christie, one of the Republican Party's more popular members (though, admittedly, not popular with his own party), is not invited because who cares what a sitting governor and potential presidential candidate might have to say? Obviously, this is a serious conference for serious conservatives, so half-time ex-governors only, please. Oh, plus the guy who was gonna send his own experts to Hawaii to prove once and for all that Hawaii is actually in Kenya. Or that Kenya is secretly Muslim. Or that Muslims are—oh hell, who knows what he was going to prove? Point is, he's clearly a serious person who deserves as much time as possible at CPAC to help spread his message of ... well, whatever his message is these days.
Maybe former Dubya adviser Matthew Dowd had a point when he said a week ago that CPAC has "has totally diminished its credibility as an organization." Or maybe CPAC has always been a joke, and now everyone—even not-completely-batshit-crazy conservatives—knows it.