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Day 1 at the Values Voter Summit

Ray Pritchard pastored in Los Angeles, Dallas and Chicago. Married to Marlene for 38 years, he enjoys being a husband, a father and a grandfather, riding his bike, and playing with Dudley and Gary, beloved basset hounds.

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This morning we woke up at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC. This grand old hotel has welcomed kings and queens, presidents and potentates over its storied 80-year history. This weekend several thousand eager conservative activists have gathered for the Values Voter Summit. Given the rise of the Tea Party movement and the upcoming midterm elections, you hear lots of chatter in the hallways about what may happen in November.

While riding a crowded elevator, I overhead a man say to the woman standing next to him, “I heard you endorsed Christine O’Donnell (surprise winner in the Delaware Republican Primary on Tuesday night).” “We did.” “She’s raised over a million dollars since she won.” “Amazing.” “I think she’s coming to our PAC meeting.” Then the door opened and we all went our separate ways. 

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This meeting is co-sponsored by a variety of conservative culture-change groups, such as the Family Research Council, the Heritage Foundation, Liberty University, and the American Family Association (AFA). I’m here because I’m an AFA board member and because they are honoring Don Wildmon, founder of the American Family Association, with a Lifetime Achievement Award on Saturday night. I think AFA has the largest delegation here, somewhere in the range of 80-90 people. We’ve been running into Tupelo folks wherever we turn. It’s Washington with a Southern accent. 

Lots of conservative leaders are coming to the conference, including such notables as Mike Huckabee, Sean Hannity, Newt Gingrich, the aforementioned Christine O’Donnell, Senator Jim DeMint, Janet Parshall and Bill Bennett.

In my wandering around the exhibit area I’ve been impressed with the number of young people in the 18-30 age range. They come here to get training in how make a difference in the public policy area. 

I’m on the radio today from 10 AM-12 Noon CT on American Family Radio. Our first guests will be Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, from the show “19 Kids and Counting.” If you don’t know they are, ask your kids. I think the whole family is here. 

There’s always lots to do and lots and to see in our nation’s capital. I’m hoping we can get out and about a little bit while we’re here. Needless to say, this is not our usual venue. I don’t think we’ve ever attended a conference like this before, and I don’t write much about politics on the weblog. But from time to time it’s fun to visit the folks who work in this arena.

That’s the news from Washington, DC. I hope to post a few pictures as the conference goes forward. 

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