The eyes of men in crisp blazers darted toward passing faces and identification badges, looking for a familiar face, a famous name. As Fox News host Sean Hannity prepared to broadcast a live show from a ballroom, a brief chant burst out from the audience: "U-S-A! U-S-A!"
It's that time of year again: Hundreds of Republicans began arriving Wednesday at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in Oxon Hill, Md., just south of Washington, for the annual Conservative Political Action Conference. CPAC, as it's best known, is a place for conservative political figures and activists to gather, schmooze, hammer out new ideas and audition for starring roles in the Republican Party.
And this year, CPAC attendees have a lot to talk about. Their party is in control of Congress, the White House and dozens of state governments across America, and yet not at all at peace with itself.
"Speaking just yesterday, President Trump called this a horrible and painful act. And so it was. That along with other recent threats to the Jewish community centers around the country," said Pence, who was visiting the headquarters of the Fabick Cat machinery company. "He declared it all a sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil. We condemn this vile act of vandalism and those who perpetuate it in the strongest possible terms."
The vice president said it was "inspiring" how the "people of Missouri have rallied around the Jewish community with compassion and support."
For President Trump, commenting on social issues — such as same-sex marriage and abortion — has never seemed much of a priority.
Indeed, throughout the campaign, Trump hardly discussed the topics.
When asked about transgender bathroom access at a town hall in April 2016, Trump said people should be able to use whichever bathroom they choose. He then moved on from the question, offering little else.
Now it appears his administration is set to wade into the controversy.
It's a topic the conservative media loves to explore.
Here are some of today’s headlines:
Return to normalcy: Trump readies reversal of transgender bathroom lunacy in public schools (Daily Caller)
What will the Trump administration do about transgender bathroom access?
The Caller highlights White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s pronouncement on the issue: “This is a states rights issue and not one for the federal government,” Spicer told reporters.
The ‘lunacy’ referred to is the federal guidance President Obama issued prior to leaving office directing schools that receive federal funding to allow transgender students to use restrooms and other facilities that match their gender identities.
Several states filed suit to overturn the directive, and a federal judge issued a temporary injunction barring its enforcement, which remains in place.
Amid strain between the Trump administration and the Republican-controlled Congress, the White House holds the high ground, a new survey indicates.
Among Republicans, President Trump has greater popularity than the party's congressional leaders. Asked specifically who they would trust if the two sides disagreed, most Republicans chose Trump over their party's leadership.
The findings, from a new survey by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center underscore Trump's continued sway with the Republican congressional majority. Although the president has historically low job approval ratings among the public at large, he remains highly popular among Republican partisans and in Republican districts.
The Supreme Court has rejected the use of "racial stereotypes" in death penalty case. The Feb. 22 ruling reopened the case of Duane Buck, a black man who was sentenced to die after being found guilty of murder in Texas. (Feb. 22, 2017)
The Supreme Court rejected the use of "racial stereotypes" in death penalty cases Wednesday, reopening the case of a black man in Texas who was sentenced to die after his jury was told African Americans are more likely than whites to commit crimes.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said this testimony had no place in a sentencing hearing and "appealed to the racial stereotype that black men are prone to violence."
"Our laws punish people for what they do, not for who they are," the chief justice said in the courtroom.
They arrived with soggy jackets, hats and umbrellas.
The topic was supposed to be the Affordable Care Act. But many who attended Democratic Rep. Tony Cárdenas' town hall meeting Tuesday night in a crammed auditorium at the Cesar E. Chavez Learning Academies came with a question: What can we -- as Democrats -- do to help you?
“Show up and vote,” said Cárdenas, who represents a slice of the staunchly liberal San Fernando Valley. (Hillary Clinton defeated Donald Trump in this district by nearly 60-percentage points in the fall election.)
“Sign people up, get people involved,” he said.
At times the meeting had the feel of a therapy session for Democrats, wondering aloud how to function under a Trump administration.
“Where is the anger among Democrats?” asked one man. “I want to see more anger.”
Cárdenas, standing at a lectern on an elevated stage, offered a stern look and nodded in agreement as rain could be heard splattering on the roof above.
The complaints included Republicans' efforts to repeal Obamacare and Trump’s new immigration mandates.
“Trust me, I’m pissed. I’m upset,” Cardenas said. “But we have to act constructively. We have to be responsible.”