WASHINGTON, D.C. - It's a political all-star event for American conservatives.
Billed as the largest gathering of conservatives south of the border, the annual three-day Conservative Political Action Conference kicks off Thursday with more than 10,000 grassroots delegates gathering to debate the future of conservative politics in the United States.
It's also a cattle-call for rising political stars eyeing a presidential bid as the Republicans look for a new standard-bearer to carry them back to the White House in 2016.
The lineup of Republican hopefuls speaking this year includes Tea Party favourite Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida's Marco Rubio and Kentucky's Rand Paul, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will also speak - a year after being snubbed by The American Conservative Union organizers.