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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Ralph Reed for Congress? UPDATE — Apparently not

click to enlarge Thank you, Georgia, for sending me to Washington.
  • Thank you, Georgia, for sending me to Washington.

You hadn't forgotten about the disgraced and defeated Ralph Reed, had you?

Just because he's about the only notable conservative/Christian/Republican who hasn't appeared onstage at a Tea Party gathering doesn't mean Reed had gone away.

No, he's simply been holed up in his exclusive gated subdivision in Gwinnett, biding his time until the moment was ripe.

Well, the ripeness has arrived — and I'll be damned if it doesn't smell like sulphur.

GOP insiders tell me that Reed is planning to jump into the 7th District Congressional race that opened up when nine-term incumbent John "Flat Tax" Linder announced his retirement a little more than a week ago.

UPDATE: Reed's announcement came as scheduled today and the answer was no, he wouldn't run for Congress. My apologies to anyone who may have jumped off a rooftop because he thought the End of Days had arrived. Apparently, the folks who talked to Congressional Quarterly had it right.

(By the way — the photo above is actor Sam Neill as Damien, the Devil's seed who grows up to be a heartbeat away from the presidency in the Omen movies. Sorry for the obscure cultural reference, but for some reason Ralph Reed always makes me  think of Damien.)

"I know Ralph desperately wants to gets back to Washington," says one insider, who notes that Reed has been busy since the Linder announcement calling possible backers to gauge his support.

Now, you may ask, Reed couldn't even win the Republican primary for lieutenant governor against a guy with a bad back — how can he expect to win a seat in Congress?

Well, keep in mind that Reed has been out of the spotlight for a while — meaning his connection to the Abramoff scandal may be hazier in some memories. And that the 7th District, while trending Democratic, is still solidly conservative. And that Reed is a master of the political Dark Arts. He's as smooth an operator as they come — smart, well-spoken and has friends with nightly TV shows on Fox.

Right now, his opponents are state Sen. Don Balfour, R-Snellville, and Rep. Clay Cox, R-Lilburn. Balfour may be a big wheel at the Statehouse, but he's bush-league compared to a slickster like Reed.

Come Wednesday, politics could become a lot more interesting in Georgia.

(Photo swiped from Omen III: The Final Conflict)

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