Climb Aboard the Shrug Boat

Posted March 17, 2013 at 7:30pm

Political party planner Melissa Dawdy wants to throw frustrated conservatives a lifeline this fall. And she’s landed tea party darling Herman Cain as her first mate.

Dawdy, who said she’s participated in several National Review sponsored-cruises and enjoyed those trips, sees an opening for a new wave of conservative coalition building. And she’s hoping to reel in folks who are desperately seeking their political bearings after a devastating fall, such as those at the just-concluded Conservative Political Action Conference.

“The average tea party person quit the tea party after 2012. They took a face-plant,” she said of the ripple effect of President Barack Obama’s re-election. “Karl Rove is trying it. But I don’t think it’s going to work from the top down.”

Dawdy’s inaugural “Freedom on the Sea” cruise promises a seven-day (Nov. 17-24) retreat featuring multiple panels and speaking events interspersed with day trips to Cozumel, Mexico, Grand Cayman Island and other sun-splashed Caribbean ports. And don’t worry, she did her homework: This far-right love-fest will sail into the future aboard a new(ish) Holland America boat, rather than disaster-prone Carnival.

“It’s hard for grass-roots activists to find something new,” she suggested of the limited networking options. “This is like a Breitbart cruise … with advanced activist training.”

No mere booze cruise, Dawdy plans to enable fellow firebrands by honing:

TV presence: “Conservatives have made some big mistakes on camera,” she asserted.

Rhetorical skills: “They don’t know how to use the left’s language against them,” she said of rank amateurs.

The crown jewel of the program is a day at sea with 2012 GOP presidential hopeful Cain, who has committed to joining up with the group Nov. 23 for a meet-and-greet, luncheon and 3-hour Q-and-A session.

Packages start at $1,440 per person, although Dawdy assured HOH that fee is all-inclusive (taxes, fees, tips and on-board cocktail hours are covered).