Word that Ralph Reed plans to seek the lieutenant governorship of Georgia signals what friends say is the former Christian Coalition executive director’s ultimate ambition — 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
A Bush White House favorite, Mr. Reed would have to give up his lucrative campaign-consulting business in order to run for a relatively minor office in his home state.
Associates say Mr. Reed, 43, whose picture first appeared on the cover of Time magazine nearly 10 years ago, hopes to use the lieutenant governor’s job to position himself to run for Georgia governor. Friends also say the Atlanta-based consultant’s long-held ambition is ultimately to win for himself the Republican presidential nomination that, as a campaign adviser, he has helped others to seek.
Word of his plans for elective office surfaced in Republican political circles earlier this month. He declined to be interviewed for this article, but other Republicans said that he has sounded out Republicans in Washington close to the White House, as well as Mr. Perdue and Georgia’s two Republican senators, Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss.
From the time religious broadcaster and 1988 Republican presidential-nomination candidate Pat Robertson formed the Christian Coalition in 1989 until Mr. Reed left the coalition in 1997, he was considered to be a driving force behind its success. The coalition was widely credited with turning out millions of voters to support pro-life, “traditional values” Republican candidates.
I think his association with Jack Abramoff has pretty much scotched Mr. Reed’s future as anything except perhaps the Bitch of Cellblock D. The story that generated this link tells of how Mr. Reed had to actually pay people to show up at a campaign rally, so I think he’s got some problems. Still, there have been other so-called “relatively minor” politicos who have risen to power when the Conventional Wisdom wrote them off; one Austrian in the 1920’s comes to mind. So let’s keep an eye on this little operator and make sure he doesn’t get any further than where he is right now.