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Palin to speak at CPAC

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Former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin will head back to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the end of this month, speaking again a year after giving the event’s keynote address.

“Gov. Sarah Palin possesses a unique ability to speak directly to the American people,” American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp said in a statement Wednesday announcing her appearance.

“She has been enthusiastically received by the conservative grassroots activists and students who attend CPAC, the American Conservative Union’s annual event, and I know her involvement this year will be even more exciting than her past appearances.”

Palin will join a who’s who cast of conservatives, including a slew of presidential hopefuls. Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina,  Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R), former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), will all speak.

The conference at Maryland’s National Harbor comes just as the crowded field of potential 2016 candidates sort out their intentions and gauge their support among Republican primary voters. The Iowa caucuses are now less than a year away.

Victory — or even an unexpectedly strong showing — in the CPAC straw poll is the big prize for possible presidential contenders. Paul ran away with the poll in 2014 and edged out Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) in 2013. 

Mitt Romney won the poll in February 2012, while in the midst of a heated primary election that he eventually won. 

Paul’s father, former Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), won the contest one year before the 2012 election. 

The final schedule for CPAC has not been released but the event takes place Feb. 25-28.

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