For a movement in crisis, for a group whose influence is allegedly waning, the Family Research Council sure knows how to pack a room. Last year's Washington Briefing was held at the equivalent of a tier-3 facility: the respectable, venerable Omni Shoreham. The main ballroom seated perhaps 500. This year, they've upgraded.

Right now, I'm sitting in the back of the international ballroom of the Washington Hilton -- a tier 2 facility -- listening to Sen. Sam Brownback's campaign eulogy with about 1,500 other folks; the media contingent numbers in the hundreds; all the television networks, major newspapers, 25 nationally known bloggers, even Jeff Greenfield, and a lot more. For the media, maybe it's the equivalent of blood in the water for a shark, but the three weeks of build-up to this convention has turned it into the single most important political event for Republicans this fall.

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