The appearance capped another big week for a candidate once considered a GOP long shot - including a strong Gallup Poll showing, a favorable New York Times portrait of the reaction to his campaign among conservatives and an appearance Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” where he said he doesn’t have to out-fundraise Mr. Romney to win.
“There are two dynamics that have changed the political landscape - the power of the Internet, as well as the citizens’ tea party movement. Those dynamics neutralize having the most amount of money,” he said.
Mr. Reed, who came to prominence in the 1990s as the face of and driving force behind religious broadcaster Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition, said that his new coalition, thanks to digital and social media, is doing more than simply passing out candidate report cards to Christians.
“That is a wise accommodation Ralph’s new coalition has made to these changing times,” said Bob McEwen, a former U.S. House member from Ohio. “There may have been a time when operatives could maneuver their candidates in front of a Jewish, Evangelical Christian or agricultural audience, where they could mouth the proper phrases on Israel, life or ethanol and make some progress politically. But technology and social media are changing that.
“Almost any audience is likely to know more about the statements of [former Utah Gov.] Jon Huntsman on cap-and-trade, before he speaks a word than most people knew about Jimmy Carter’s philosophy of government by Election Day,” Mr. McEwen said.
Mr. Reed said his coalition’s goal is to “register and educate, motivate and turn out the largest conservative vote in a presidential election in modern history.”
“Longer term, our goal is to become a permanent institution on the political landscape that will advocate for a constituency of people of faith and their allies similar to the National Rifle Association for gun owners and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for businesses.”
Mr. Reed said his coalition is not in competition with Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council, which sponsors an annual Values Voters Summit in Washington that draws a similar audience. Mr. Reed said the strength of Mr. Perkins’ group is research and policy development, while Mr. Reed’s is voter registration and getting out the vote.
The Reed event added some tea party leaders like Mark Meckler to the usual audience mix of religious and social conservatives.
Mr. Danon told The Washington Times before his speech: “In the past, we were not sure if Obama was confused or biased. Today, we feel he is biased against Israel. He took the side of the Palestinians.”
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Chief political writer Ralph Z. Hallow served on the Chicago Tribune, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Washington Times editorial boards, was Ford Foundation Fellow in Urban Journalism at Northwestern University, resident at Columbia University Editorial-Page Editors Seminar and has filed from Berlin, Bonn, London, Paris, Geneva, Vienna, Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Damascus, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Belgrade, Bucharest, Panama and Guatemala.
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