Akin In, Ann Romney Out, at Value Voters Summit

Looks like I was premature in concluding that Todd Akin was not being invited to run elbows with other Christian Right luminaries at this weekend’s Value Voters Summit in Washington. According to the main sponsor of the event, the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins (who has been one of the few conservative honchos defending Akin against GOP demands that he drop his Senate campaign), Akin has indeed been invited, and will be worked into the program at some point, though perhaps at a closed fundraising reception.

At the same time, though there’s no evidence of a connection, Ann Romney has indicated she will not show up to speak at the VVS. But Paul Ryan will still be there as a featured speaker. It will be interesting to see if his recent habit of not talking about his budget or his record of social-issues record will be maintained before an audience that loves both.

As for Akin, the conference represents another step in his game of chicken with the national GOP, which very much wants him to go away. If nothing else, his persistence is raising the price Republicans will have to pay to get him out of the race, along with the amount of crow they’ll have to eat before giving him highly hypocritical backing if he toughs it out.

UPDATE: Ooops! Perkins contradicted by own staff and by Akin campaign; the wiggy Senate candidate’s staying home in Missouri this weekend, not causing discomfort for Ryan and company in DC. But then again, considering how strange this story has become, I wouldn’t rule out a “surprise appearance.”

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.