Friday, June 22, 2012

Pollster Scott Rasmussen Addresses RightOnline Conference: Video

Scott Rasmussen
Three previous posts this week featured videos of presentations at the 2012 RightOnline conference in Las Vegas, which took place on June 15 and 16 at the Venetian Hotel.

The first post was about former Alaska governor and 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and current Nevada Third District Congressman Joe Heck.

The second one included speeches by two highly-rated talk-radio hosts, Lars Larson and Rusty Humphries.

The third had speeches by authors S.E. Cupp and Jonah Goldberg, as well as a panel discussion with the two of them plus Larson.

This entry in the series features a dinner address by Scott Rasmussen, founder and president of the Rasmussen Reports public opinion polling firm (and also co-founder of ESPN, but that's just a historical tidbit).

A few hours before his speech, I had an opportunity to interview Rasmussen about the polling business.  Here's an excerpt:
Rasmussen has also noted a change in attitudes over the past twenty years since he began doing public opinion surveys, when issues like gay marriage were not even being discussed.

Beginning with a caveat that he did not “want to overstate this in a political sense,” he pointed out that “the biggest change is that, as a younger generation comes along,” there are more apparent “libertarianish attitudes.”

What this means, Rasmussen explained, is that “people believe they have the right to make decisions for their own lives and they’re very comfortable with that. They get pretty offended when somebody tries to tell them they can’t do something.”

That attitude, he said, “would apply to something like same-sex marriage or to a whole range of other cultural and social issues coming up.”
Rasmussen's post-dinner speech covered a wide range of issues. It's best to let it speak for itself:

Scott Rasmussen is the author, most recently, of The People's Money: How Voters Will Balance the Budget and Eliminate the Federal Debt. His other books include In Search of Self-Governance, A Better Deal : Social Security Choice, and (with Douglas Schoen) Mad As Hell: How the Tea Party Movement Is Fundamentally Remaking Our Two-Party System.

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S.E. Cupp and Jonah Goldberg at RightOnline 2012: Videos

Jonah Goldberg and S.E. Cupp
In two previous posts that featured videos from the RightOnline conference held in Las Vegas last weekend, I included speeches by former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and Nevada Congressman Joe Heck, and by radio talk-show hosts Lars Larson and Rusty Humphries.

The three videos below feature political commentators S.E. Cupp and Jonah Goldberg.  In the last one, Lars Larson joins them for a panel discussion moderated by Americans for Prosperity vice president Tracy Henke.

Cupp is known for her appearances on various cable news outlets, including Fox News and MSNBC. More recently, she has been a commentator for Glenn Beck's on-line venture, GBTV. She is also the author of Losing Our Religion: Why the Liberal Media Want to Tell You What to Think, Where to Pray, and How to Live and co-author (with Brett Joshpe) of Why You're Wrong About the Right: Behind the Myths: The Surprising Truth About Conservatives.

As was true for most of the RightOnline speakers, Cupp talked about the importance of online, citizen journalism and the use of social media to advance conservative ideas, but she also discussed how conservatives can more fully participate in popular culture.

Here is S.E. Cupp's address, on video:

Jonah Goldberg is a columnist for National Review Online (NRO) and the author of Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning and, more recently, of The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas. (I also interviewed Goldberg about his new book. A podcast of that interview should be posted this weekend on Bearing Drift and an article based upon it will be published soon on

Goldberg describes himself, "in Internet years, as Methuselah," because he's been using social media since 1998, when he would stay up late at night exchanging instant messages with Andrew Breitbart.

Here are Goldberg's introductory comments:

Following their individual comments, Cupp, Goldberg, and Larson retook the stage to engage in a panel discussion.

Here's that panel:

Still more videos to come.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Lars Larson and Rusty Humphries at RightOnline: Video

As noted in my last post, this past weekend I was in Las Vegas for the fifth annual RightOnline conference sponsored by Americans for Prosperity.  That post featured videos of speeches by Sarah Palin and Nevada Congressman Joe Heck.

My handy digital video camera also recorded several other notable speakers, including two syndicated talk-radio hosts.

Lars Larson is based in Portland, Oregon, but his show is heard here in Charlottesville on WCHV-AM from 7:00 to 10:00 o'clock each evening.  According to Talkers magazine, his show is heard by a weekly audience of more than 1.5 million listeners and it is the 11th most popular talk-radio show in the country (tied with Dennis Prager).

Larson spoke briefly at lunchtime on Saturday, June 16, and later joined a panel discussion with Jonah Goldberg and S.E. Cupp (see future post for that video).

During Saturday's dinner program, another talk-radio host, Rusty Humphries, addressed the RightOnline participants. Talkers magazine ranks Humphries as the 8th-most-popular radio talk-show host, tied with five others (Alan Colmes, Thom Hartmann, Dennis Miller, Stephanie Miller, and Ed Schultz) and heard by more than 3.25 million people each week. His show is broadcast on 250 stations as well as XM and Sirius satellite radio. Only one station in Virginia carries his show, however -- WTNT-AM in Alexandria.

In his speech, Humphries told his audience they should not be shy, that they should feel free to make a lot of noise. Judge for yourself as to whether they followed his advice.

There are still more videos to come.

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Sarah Palin and Joe Heck at RightOnline 2012: Video

Sarah Palin at RightOnline
RightOnline is an annual conference sponsored by Americans for Prosperity that brings together political leaders, political pundits, political bloggers, and others involved in the free-market movement to meet each other, talk about issues, and learn about techniques to improve communication in the online world of both journalism and social media.

This year RightOnline took place at the Venetian hotel in Las Vegas.

The the featured speaker on the opening night of the conference, June 15, was former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, who was also the 2008 Republican nominee for Vice President.  In the years since Palin resigned mid-term as Alaska's chief executive, she has become a political commentator for Fox News and has also raised a stir with her talent for using social media (particularly Facebook) for promoting her views.

I caught Palin's speech on video and posted it to YouTube after I returned home to Charlottesville from Sin City. Including a brief introduction by AFP president Tim Phillips, the address lasts just about 35 minutes.
The next afternoon, because the conference was occurring in Las Vegas, the local Member of Congress -- U.S. Representative Joe Heck, a physician and Iraq War veteran -- addressed the lunchtime crowd. Congressman Heck spoke about the use of social media by his colleagues (he mentioned the Republican New Media Caucus, which is co-chaired by First District Virginia Representative Rob Wittman).

Here's the video of Joe Heck's speech. He is introduced by AFP vice president Tracy Henke.
Watch this blog for more video from RightOnline 2012.

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