The Alaska Republican challenging Sen. Lisa Murkowski took to the stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday in Orlando, bringing a pointed message about Murkowski to a national audience that has no love for Alaska’s senior senator.
Outside of the presidential contenders, Kelly Tshibaka is clearly one of the biggest celebrities in conservative circles at CPAC; people flocked to meet her and get their photos take with her on Thursday, and even more so on Friday at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort, where the conference is taking place.
Right after she finished speaking, reporters from the New York Times and CNN rushed up to talk to her. She spoke to the Times reporter but did not appear to give CNN an interview, because others were pulling her away for photos. Potential donors said she did well. One person commented that their son and daughter-in-law live in Alaska, and they took a selfie photo to send to them.
Tshibaka’s remarks were a shot over the bow of the Murkowski dynasty, and at the end of her five minutes, Tshibaka received a standing ovation — the only standing ovation of Day 1 of the CPAC event.
At CPAC, the talk on Friday among attendees was all about Murkowski and whether or not she will be a repeat performance with the Biden nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, announced on Friday morning. Will Murkowski vote with the socialist crowd or vote with Republicans? During the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, Murkowski was the hold-out vote, and in the end simply voted “present” rather than vote with Republicans to confirm the justice who had been nominated by President Donald Trump. In 2020, Murkowski voted to confirm Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.
Other speakers at the event include former President Donald Trump, Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy, and myriad other politicos from the conservative side of the spectrum.
The conference, on the theme of “Awake, Not Woke,” ends on Sunday with a closing speech by Donald Trump Jr.