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Perry's Prayerapalooza: Let the Downsizing Begin (Also: Worst Fast Ever)

The responee to The Response has been underwhelming.
The responee to The Response has been underwhelming.

Rick Perry's famous call for the nation's governors to come to Houston this weekend to pray and fast is looking more and more like a mistake to all but the religious right.

Of course, if he's looking to win a GOP primary, he may just get by with only the religious right on his side.

Critics are starting to pile up as the event nears, and it looks like there won't be anything close to 70,000 people at Reliant Stadium.

Reliant Park management said they could not disclose details, and Eric Bearse, spokesperson for The Response, didn't, well, respond to inquiries (Guess he thinks we're as "cynical" as our sister paper in Dallas), but it looks like planners are expecting only about 10,000 or so people to attend.

Reports are Reliant will be in the "small-event" configuration, used for such things as high school graduations.

Those attending have received a list of instructions/suggestions from organizers, reports the Austin American Statesman (We're disappointed: We registered but didn't get the missive).

Among the highlights:

Be nice to reporters. "We thank you in advance for demonstrating true Christian character by responding in love and blessing to any possible media or protesters you may encounter."

No political T-shirts. "Please refrain from wearing clothing with messages that accuse others or make political statements. Anyone with a shirt of this nature will be asked to turn their shirt inside out; if not, they will not be allowed to enter the stadium."

What the hell kind of fast is this? It's supposed to be a day of prayer and fasting, but apparently participants are as loose with their interpretation of "fast" as they are with Christian theology. "[N]o food or water will be allowed in the stadium. Yes, there will be vendors open with food, beverages and water available for purchase."

Apparently about 8,000 or so people have registered on The Response's Web site.

Just to add to the bad karma, the conservative Politico published a story today detailing GOP unease with the prospect of a Perry candidacy.

Best quote: An anonymous GOP state chair calls him "Will Ferrell doing a George W. Bush imitation."

The event itself will likely be something of an anticlimax and letdown. A few protesters withering in the heat, attendees and speakers on their best behavior, and Perry himself keeping a relatively low profile.

And no other governors: Reports are that the only one who accepted, Kansas's Sam Brownback, is reportedly not coming.

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