Photograph by Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images
Straight-Shootin' Sons of a Gun
For a party that hasn't sent a new nominee to the White House since
2000, annual gatherings of the American Conservative Union lately have
become as much about winning as about principle. The ACU's Conservative
Political Action Conference -- at National Harbor outside of
Washington, D.C., March 6-8, celebrating the organization's 50th anniversary -- drew several
Republicans testing their prospects for a 2016 presidential campaign and thousands of observers taking the measure of the field. Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma holds the gun given to him by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.