This Week in Conservative Media: 'Air America Has Shut Down and Gitmo Is Still Open'

At past CPAC conferences they called it Blogger Row, the long table set up for bloggers covering the event. This year the blogger room, set up with dozens of tables for (the mostly) conservative bloggers covering the Conservative Political Action Committee is bigger than the room for regular media, and is more crowded. Red State’s Erick Erickson took a break from Blogger Row (some also call it Bloggers Lounge) winning praise from FrumForum for helping all the other bloggers get online earlier today when not setting up interviews or giving his own speech (where he pointed out Air America's demise and Gitmo's survival). The mood is pretty celebratory here, such as when Liz Cheney gleefully told the crowd, “What a fabulous time to be a conservative!”

And what a good time to be a conservative blogger. Many guests this afternoon have been crediting the power of the Internet and blogging as the source of successes from the Tea Party movement to the rise of new politicos like Marco Rubio. CPAC’s star speaker, Rubio spoke privately with conservative bloggers, mostly from Red State (organized by Erickson) in a side room shortly after his speech. Rubio briefly discussed his aims, but also acknowledged  the power of the bloggers, telling the small group that they now have a huge responsibility: “You are the political establishment.”

Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey was one of the bloggers in the room. He’s doing a live thread of the conference, keeping—he says—a special eye on whether the energy in the room will be more about fiscal or social conservatism. “So far I’m seeing more on the fiscal conservative side—the leave-me-alone impulse,” Morrissey says. As for Rubio’s message to a small crowd of influential conservative bloggers, Morrissey adds: “That was almost a warning to us. It sounds good, but it also means we should be careful not to become too used to that role.”