Monday, June 20, 2005

Ralph Reed for President?

The Associated Press (via Salon.com) reports that Ralph Reed, the founding and former executive director of Pat Robertson's Christian Coalition has announced that he is running for Lt. Governor of Georgia.

Much is rightfully being made that Reed has had many unsavory dealings with lobbyist Jack Abramoff who stands accused of ripping off Indian tribes who were lobbying to be able to operate casinos. While its possible that opponents in the Republican and in the Democratic Parties, (not to mention sitting grand juries and Congressional investigations of Abramoff's affairs) may be able to make the charges stick, to count on this would be unwise.

The fundamental lesson of Reed's tenure at the Christian Coalition is the organization matters. People who believe that the tinge of scandal, or of ties to people who make extreme or outrageous statements (like Robertson) will trump skilled and sustained organization, and the growing power of the Christian Right, have missed the most important lessons in politics of the past 15 years.

Meanwhile, the Lt. Governor's office in Georgia is thought to be a powerless office. So why would Reed, the current chairman of the state GOP want the job?

The AP reports: "Marshall Wittmann, who worked with Reed at the Christian Coalition but now works for the Democratic Leadership Council, thinks Reed wants to be president."

"'He knew he couldn't go from the Christian Coalition, so he became a political consultant, then Georgia GOP chairman, then coordinator for the Bush campaign. The next logical step is to win a political office. This is what's available, but it's clearly a stepping stone to higher office," Wittmann said."

It should be noted that Lt. Governor is a statewide office -- which means developing a statewide campaign infrastructure, which can be deployed into a race for governor or senator down the road

[Crossposted from FrederickClarkson.com]

2 Comments:

Blogger Alice Venturi said...

I seem to recall that there was some speculation about this back when Reed started his political consultant biz. "Nah," I said to myself. "He prefers the path of the Eminence Gris, the power behind the throne, to actually sitting on the throne himself."

Time to rethink. The thought of "President Reed" sends shivers down the spine.

2:21 PM  
Blogger Bruce Wilson said...

You're not alone in that. But, he might have a rough time whitewashing various associations in his fairly recent past.

One would hope.

5:16 PM  

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