The Conservative Political Action Conference is an annual gathering of thousands of Republican party activists in Washington. It’s a rally, a revival, a freak show, proving ground — so much. Beloved by political reporters and pundits, CPAC is beautiful.

Julie Mason, host of the Press Pool on SiriusXM’s POTUS, Ch. 124, talked some CPAC with Joe Curl, editor of the Drudge Report, ahead of the annual confab. She later turned up at the event to record her weekly reporters’ round table.

Jules and Joe wondered who would be this year’s breakout star and whether Texas Gov. Rick Perry was set for a comeback.

The other major story in Washington this week was the continued standoff between President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin over the future of Ukraine. Obama had no luck persuading European Union leaders to back his plan for sanctions, and stateside conservatives said the president was being outmaneuvered by his Russian counterpart.

Ron Fournier of National Journal, who famously asked former President Bush whether Putin was trustworthy — prompting the famous “I looked the man in his eye” quote from Bush — said Obama isn’t the first U.S. president to misread Putin.

Jules anchored an hour-long conversation with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi at the Newseum, as part of SiriusXM’s Leading Ladies series highlighting distinctive women in politics, the arts and more. Pelosi made news discussing the prospects for bringing immigration reform up for a vote in the House.

A kerfuffle broke out in Congress between Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Government Oversight Committee, and Democratic ranking member Rep. Elijah Cummings, after Issa cut off Cummings’ microphone during a hearing on the IRS’ reported targeting of conservative groups.

Chris Moody, political reporter for Yahoo! News, told Julie the encounter left Cummings shouting and demanding to be heard. Issa later apologized.

And after his recent purchase of a Florida condo excited speculation he might be leaving Congress, House Speaker John Boehner said he plans to run again and seek re-election as speaker. Catalina Camia of USA Today joined Jules to suss out Boehner’s prospects.

Join Julie Mason for the Press Pool on SiriusXM’s POTUS channel 124 weekdays from 3-6 p.m. ET, and follow her on Twitter @juliemason

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