Skip below for the video of the day, which was Dianne Feinstein vs. Ted Cruz over the Bill of Rights.
And here's John Parkinson's headline after President Obama's day on the Hill: "President Obama Complete's Charm Offensive, Now What?" - http://abcn.ws/XMpkcP
What'd You Miss at CPAC? - But first check out some dispatches from CPAC, where Rick Perry, at least for today, seems to have gotten his mojo back and Marco Rubio and Rand Paul laid bare the nationalist vs. isolationist urges in the modern Republican party.
Catch up on the whole day with input from Michael Falcone, Shush Walshe, Rick Klein, Chris Good and Sarah Parnass here - http://abcn.ws/ZRxVeq
Rebirth of Rick? - A lot of conservatives (check out Drudge's "Perry Rocks the House" Headline) watching CPAC today came away talking about Rick Perry. Seriously. He suggested Mitt Romney - who last year at this time dubbed himself "severely conservative" and went on to the presidential nomination - wasn't conservative at all. He said Hispanics want free enterprise, commitment to the family and life.
"The popular media narrative it's that this country has shifted away from conservative ideals as evidenced by the last two presidential elections. That's what they think. That's what they say. That might be true if Republicans had actually nominated conservative candidates in 2008 and 2012. Might be true," he railed too applause.
How's Mitt going to react to that one when he speaks here tomorrow?
Rubio vs. Rand - Marco Rubio didn't mention Hispanics or Immigration in his speech. He brought a nationalist message - with shades of Reagan against Communism - that a great and free America is necessary to ideologically combat China and Russia.
America, he argued, has to stay ahead of China to be a model for the rest of the world. http://abcn.ws/10MRVha
"That's what's at stake in America's greatness," said Rubio. "This is not just about national pride. The truth of the matter is, don't take this for granted. What we have here is different and special and historic. In the vast history of the world and of mankind, almost everyone that's ever been born is poor and disadvantaged with no ability to get ahead. What's made us different is that here, people have had the real chance to get a better life no matter where they started out. And do not underestimate what that has meant for the world.
Right after Rubio spoke, Paul's brought his campaign against drones. He reached out to the Facebook generation with a nod toward decriminalizing pot. http://abcn.ws/Z7ANCG
More Rubio - He Talked Science, 'Mutual Respect' at CPAC… says he's not a bigot for opposing gay marriage - Sen. Marco Rubio today challenged some of the stereotypes affixed to the Republican Party on two hot-button topics, abortion and gay marriage, telling the Conservative Political Action Conference that his positions on the issues make him neither a "chauvinist" nor a "bigot." http://abcn.ws/WgmkWj (Arlette Saenz)
Joe Biden Leans Into Snarky Calls for a Reality Show with 'Being Biden' Podcast - http://abcn.ws/12UbKIx
Constitution Class Over Assault Weapons Ban - The Senate Judiciary Committee voted in favor of the assault weapons ban bill today, the most controversial of the gun measures put forward since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, which occurred three months ago today. http://abcn.ws/15OQGAY (Arlette Saenz). Debate got a bit heated over the Bill of Rights.
Sen. Ted Cruz asked Diane Feinstein if she'd do to the 1st or 4th amendment what she wants to do to the 2nd amendment. (He didn't mention existing restrictions on all three amendments).
Feinstein wasn't amused.
"I'm not a sixth grader," she said. "Senator, I've been on this committee for 20 years. I was a mayor for nine years. I walked in, I saw people shot. I've looked at bodies that have been shot with these weapons. I've seen the bullets that implode. In Sandy Hook, youngsters were dismembered."
And here's the video of the tense exchange between Ted Cruz, a newbie senator, with Dianne Feinstein, whose served in the senate for over 20 years http://abcn.ws/YdwtiZ
What's the Realistic Outlook for a Grand Bargain Budget Deal? - George Stephanopoulos takes user questions and says if Members of Congress tied their pay to getting a budget deal they'd be very likely not to get paid - http://abcn.ws/16v2sSm
Apropos of pretty much nothing… RGIII photo bombs Ken Star - http://deadsp.in/Ycg9Cj
Boehner Sends Regrets, Pelosi Lobbies for Invitation to Papal Investiture- House Speaker John Boehner, the nation's highest-ranking Catholic in the House of Representatives, declined an invitation today from President Obama to join the U.S. delegation to Pope Francis' papal investiture while Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi unabashedly expressed her hope to attend the March 19 event. http://abcn.ws/ZQ0AAv (John Parkinson)
Obama Defends Advocacy Group, 'I Just Want To Govern'- President Obama Wednesday night defended his "charm offensive" against Congress, saying he is simply trying to break through some of the "gobbledygook of our politics."
"We have to get members of Congress involved in these discussions, not just leadership, because I think a lot of them feel as if they don't have the opportunity to break out of some of this partisan gridlock," he told supporters at the Organizing for Action summit in Washington, just hours after meeting with House Republicans on Capitol Hill. http://abcn.ws/WpWOwH (Mary Bruce)
What's Inside the CPAC Live Blog:
Michelle Obama Gets Second Vogue Cover - Michelle Obama's on the April issue of Vogue once again. President Obama and the first lady are interviewed in the article, in which they discuss their lives as parents and their marriage in the spotlight of the presidency. Though the president initially discussed the pressure exerted on political families by things like expensive campaigns and late working hours, the first lady shifted the focus to kids Sasha and Malia Obama. http://abcn.ws/10L9TAQ (Anjuli Sastry)
Left, Right Unveil US Budget Utopias - Budgets are like dreams. Republicans, led by Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, issued a 91-page doctrine of fiscal conservatism that claims to balance the budget in 10 years. The House Progressive Caucus, led by Reps. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., and Keith Ellison, D-Minn., released their own 19-page blueprint that lowers the deficit (but doesn't eliminate it) by raising taxes while pumping investments into all the infrastructure, education, and public welfare programs liberals love. http://abcn.ws/X9H3r5 (Chris Good)