I'm at the Family Research Council's Washington Briefing, an annual meeting billed on the FRC website as "THE PREMIER VALUES VOTER EVENT OF 2007." It's a collection of America's most politically-savvy evangelical Christians. That means if the rapture occurs today, it's just going to be me and a bench of media members in bad sportscoats.
The day was kicked off with a Sam Brownback book signing. The senator from Kansas is a long-time defender of pro-life and anti-gay positions, and this ought to be his crowd. But yesterday, it was announced that Brownback will likely drop out of the presidential race today. Brownback, tucked amongst booths for groups like Exodus International ("Freedom for a World Impacted by Homosexuality") and PFOX (Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays), was immediately mobbed by members of the media seeking information on the rumor.
"I'm here for a book signing, folks," he said, taking an exasperated look at the half dozen video cameras and scores of reporters toting laptop bags and notebooks. "I'm making an announcement later today."
Squeezed between members of the media were thirty or so people who actually wanted to get their copies of "From Power to Purpose" signed. A small boy with wire glasses and a buzz cut tired to take a picture of the senator with a digital camera. A convention staffer stopped him, saying "No unauthorized photos. You need a media credential." The kid, a bit shocked, mumbled an apology and began putting his camera back in his pocket when a reporter standing nearby intervened.
"I'll take the picture," he said, reaching for the kid's camera. As the boy got his book signed, the reporter jostled his way to the front of the table to get a picture. Maybe the rapture will take him, too.