Cato Institute was packed to the walls at their annual conclave-of-the-committed at the Ritz Naples. Cato returns to the Ritz every year for the hotel’s world class logistics, excellent service and overall organization and more than acceptable resort-class fare.
Cato’s nearly 500 guests had flocked to this Southwestern Florida semi-tropical outpost to listen to Cato’s renowned (Michael’s a friend) Obamacare expert Michael Cannon, distinguished George Washington law professor Jonathon Turley (talk about a smart guy), and well-bruised and beaten (but still standing) National Review star Jonah Goldberg.
Jonah and National Review for that matter had been on the anti-Trump bandwagon from day number one. National Review former publisher Jack Fowler is a gentleman whom Debbie and I view as a friend, so we were disappointed to be on the opposite side of the fight from friends like Jack and writers like Jonah. I was a little concerned for Jonah’s safety at the podium, half expecting one of Naples’ golfing elites to send an eight-iron shot Jonah’s way.
Well nothing doing. Jonah was 100% on his game from the start and disarmed the packed “Trump Room” right out of the box. Good for him. It could not have been as easy as it looked. What seems like a generation ago, I spoke before thousands of investors all over the world from New Orleans to Hong Kong to Switzerland and San Francisco. It is no light task on a good day, but I never had reason to be concerned about taking a high level trashing like I thought Jonah might be in for. Oh well, no harm no foul as they say. Jonah, while looking mighty hot up on stage, won the day with his perfect timing, marvelous humor, command of his material, and his cheery demeanor. How nice indeed. A really good guy and a delightful day for Cato/Naples attendees.
Mr. Goldberg told his audience that the American people feel alienated and that America’s institutions are under water. Jonah emphasized that Republicans today need to return the days of Ronald Reagan, who was a master storyteller. This is how to communicate with the American people. Regarding Hillary Clinton, Goldberg opined that whipping her was really a low bar that was akin to beating gas station sushi at a Alabama gas station. Get the tone? Thanks a lot JG. A great day for one and all at Cato/Naples.
Tomorrow I will continue with a look at our friend Cato’s Michael Cannon’s remarks.