Florida Sen. Marco Rubioimplored fellow Republicans to reconnect with middle-class voters. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul basked in the glow of his lengthy filibuster as he scanned a sea of "Stand With Rand" signs. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush held out the prospect of the nation's greatest century if the GOP were to evolve into the party of "inclusion and acceptance." Only months after President Barack Obama's re-election, an annual gathering of conservatives served as an audition for Republicans looking to court conservative activists and raise their profile with an eye on greater political ambitions.
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