The man in the middle is the keynote speaker Noah "Dreamboat" Feldman. Okay I added that middle name. He really is brilliant and we had a discussion on the way home about whether he could truly be classified as a genius. I think we agreed he could. Anyway just a fascinating address about the current conservative political climate and Mitt Romney's place in it. He concluded that Romney's religious views are an important part of his candidacy precisely because he's running as a Republican which traditionally garners the votes of "values voters." If he was running as a Democrat he hypothesizes Romney could claim his religion had no part in how he would govern and that would be that, but the very nature of the GOP at this point necessitates him bringing religion into things. Feldman also talked about other things (see Matt and Addy's blog for their take) but I found that analysis particularly interesting. That recap didn't sound particularly earth shattering, but his lecture really was amazing.
After the conference we had a great lunch with an old friend of Chris' who subsequently left Chris' firm so we haven't seen him in ages. We didn't get a picture, but it was New York Patrick, i.e. Nathan, and his wife Jill. They're so much fun. Even Matt and Addy who didn't know them had a great time at our 3 hour lunch. Our friends are all awesome. We're pretty lucky.