The conservatives had a successful CPAC gathering with solid showings by a number of 2016 presidential contenders and few, if any, moments that the MSM will pounce upon as evidence of GOP “craziness.” The politicians who benefited the most were, from our vantage point, the ones who’ve been through troubled times — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida, speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., on Thursday, March 6, 2014. CPAC, a project of the American Conservative Union (ACU), runs until Saturday, March 8. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg *** Local Caption *** Marco Rubio Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

Each connected on an emotional level with the audience. All stressed conservative ideas (Christie succinctly said, “Our ideas are better than their ideas.”). None took shots at other Republicans. All sounded a strong note on foreign policy. While Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) asserted there were Republicans out there who stood for “nothing” and didn’t want to get rid of Obamacare (if there are, none showed up at CPAC), these three demonstrated that there is remarkable unity on major policy issues, the by-product certainly of five years of President Obama.

Their success this week is a reminder that it is eons before the first presidential debate, let alone the first primary — and that everyone likes a comeback kid. For all that, gentlemen, we can say well done.