Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Christian Coalition 2.0

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Ralph Reed is starting a new brand of the Christian Coalition. Money quote:
“This is not going to be your daddy’s Christian Coalition,” Reed said in an interview to describe his new venture, the Faith and Freedom Coalition. “It has to be younger, hipper, less strident, more inclusive and it has to harness the 21st century that will enable us to win in the future.”
And while there are myriad other faith- or family- or freedom-touting organizations, such as Focus on the Family or the original Christian Coalition, Reed does not believe there is one that has captured the national mode of religious conservatives quite like Coalition did in the 1990s.
The article continues:
“The bottom line is we [Republicans] need everything,” said [public relations executive Mark] DeMoss, who until recently had office space in the same building as Reed’s firm. “Better technology, better organization skills, better messaging, better candidates, better leadership. Ralph is addressing a good part of it, and I believe he’ll probably do good things with it.”
This would be Ralph Reed's first return to the political arena since his failed Lt. Gov campaign in Georgia, a campaign in which his close ties to the disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff was revealed. Whether or not his former "sins" come back to haunt him, according to the article, critics on both sides of the ideological divide agree that Reed is a formidable organizer.

Given the current temperature within the political atmosphere (i.e., the reaction against the Religious Right and the politicization of religion), I wonder if there is available room for another conservative evangelical/political organization. And if there is, how will this new organization gather the attention of the electorate in ways that similar organizations currently are not? My gut feeling, and correct me if I am wrong, is that Americans, outside of the conservative evangelical base, will barely notice.

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