- The Washington Times - Monday, May 5, 2014

They must be ready to rock. Now on radar: the Republican National Committee’s two-day spring meeting which begins Wednesday in Memphis, and ends in Elvis territory. There will be strategy afoot no doubt, important, red meat kind of stuff, in an important year. Voters head to the midterm election polls on Nov. 4 - now less than six months away.

The gathering is mostly closed to the press save for a committee meeting on rules, a cheerful luncheon to introduce the GOP’s “rising stars,” and another lunch, with Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.

Meanwhile, there will be significant updates from a trio of party committees plus talk of the Republican National Convention in 2016. Even the choice of the host city is being monitored by the competition. The take-away message here? The Grand Old Party appears seriously determined to augment and protect its traditional strengths and values while adding “big tent” thinking and aggressive tactics to combat an equally aggressive Democratic foe.

The big doings are centered around the very swell old Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis, a 127-year-old landmark where live wild ducks swim in the lobby fountain and the menu still includes smothered chicken and buttermilk chess pie.

Republicans will likely leave Memphis in a good mood, and possibly ready to rumble, old school style. The private farewell dinner for the gathering will take place at Graceland - which typically includes an after-hours tour of Elvis Presley’s longtime home.


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