Attending the Conservative Political Action Conference for right-wingers plays much as losing one’s virginity does for many teenagers. An initial euphoria during the obligatory passage rite gives way to the overwhelming need for a shower.
The event won pseudo-event status for me moments before my big moment in the big ballroom more than a decade ago. A conference functionary inquired, as though I would be addressing a WWE audience rather than CPAC, about my theme music. The dilemma tormented. Should I make a grand entrance to old-school “Eye of the Tiger” Hulkster? Rock-n-Wrestling-Connection era “Real American”? Or perhaps “Voodoo Chile” of the circa-NWO Hollywood Hogan?
Naturally, the inquiry made me laugh. He told a joke, right? So why did he sternly look upon my hysterics—surely something much more than a solidarity snicker—about entrance music? If the introduction of stadium-style sonic accompaniment didn’t cue me into the infotainment vibe of the gathering, certainly the late Jane Russell—herself a bit overwhelmed by the Hollywood quality of it all but still all alpha female in her eighties—sitting to my right on the dais did.