While movement conservatives nationwide gather in Washington for the annual conclave that is CPAC, students at Washington & Lee University in Lexington are giving Republicans a glimpse of what to expect this summer in Tampa at the Republican National Convention.
W & L’s mock convention–conducted for the party that does not currently occupy The White House–is the second-oldest mock convention in the nation, but holds the distinction as being the most accurate, having only incorrectly predicted the eventual nominee twice since 1948 (most recently in 2008 when W & L’s convention nominated Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama).
Events for the 2012 mock Republican convention kicked off last night with a lively, ninety-minute debate between Ann Coulter and James Carville. During the debate, both Coulter and Carville agreed that the likely Republican nominee will be Gov. Mitt Romney, although both also conceded that Gov. Romney will likely lose to President Obama.
Coulter and Carville served as the warm-up act for a politically “star-studded” event that will include such Republican luminaries as Gov. Bob McDonnell, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, Rep. Eric Cantor, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, Gov. Haley Barbour, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, Rep. J.C. Watts, Gov. George Allen as well as former presidential candidates Herman Cain, Gov. Jon Huntsman, Gov. Mike Huckabee, Sen. Fred Thompson and Rep. Thad McCotter.
The festivities continued this morning with a parade; sessions will resume this afternoon. For political junkies unable to make the trip to Lexington, you can watch the festivities live online here.