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Reed Doesn't Show at McCain Benefit He'd Help Publicize

By Perry Bacon Jr.
ATLANTA -- Ralph Reed, once one of the leading strategists in the Republican Party, found himself Monday night persona non grata at a fundraiser hosted by his party's presumptive presidential nominee.

Reed had sent an e-mail last week encouraging allies to join him at fundraiser for John McCain here, but by the time the senator from Arizona arrived in Atlanta, it was clear Reed was not attending the event. The Democratic National Committee had spent several days blasting McCain for allowing Reed to be involed in the fundraiser because of Reed's connections to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

McCain aides said Reed had never been involved in putting together the fundraiser, but they would not say if they told Reed not to attend the event.

Reed did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Reed, who had once been executive director of the Christian Coalition and was an adviser to the Bush 2004 campaign, has become a controversial figure in the party because of his connections to Abramoff. While Reed was never accused of a crime, e-mails released during the investigation of Abramoff's work showed close connections between the two men as they joined together to oppose the construction of some Indian gaming casinos in the South. Abramoff wanted to prevent new casinos from being built that would compete with the ones already established by some of the tribes that had hired him.

Much of the Abramoff investigation was conducted by the Indian Affairs Committee that was run at the time by McCain, and Reed and the Arizona senator are not known to be close.

McCain, who raised about $1.75 million at the event, did refer to Reed in his remarks here.

By Web Politics Editor  |  August 18, 2008; 10:55 PM ET
Categories:  John McCain  
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Obama sure has got the GOP's panties in a bunch now. Three days of Obama attack adds has every media company in the U.S. going after him. It's funny how McCain's poll numbers always seem to go up when he gets slammed with bad news. Yesterday their poll on who's best to handle the economy had McCain leading by 9 points. Thats pretty funny considering McCain doesn't know squat about the economy. They even have McCain giving some wonder-boy answers at that Church that blew Obama away. Now everyone knows just how corrupt the media is. The only way McCain can win this election is by someone tampering with the votes. Obama needs to use everything on You Tube against him. No stupid attack adds, just what shows McCain's true colors.

Posted by: HemiHead | August 21, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Barack Obama's new ad is a good Ad. John McCain CANNOT afford to be "Jack Abramoff"ed!

Posted by: KYJurisDoctor | August 20, 2008 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Sen. McCain must really think the American people are foolish. He says that Sen. Obama was wrong about the war in Irag but wasn't McCain one of the ones voting to go to war? Also McCain keeps saying that the surge is working, may be this is a way of easing his consciene for sending so many young men into harms way

Posted by: buckman | August 19, 2008 11:48 PM | Report abuse

ihate mccain

Posted by: carlton | August 19, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Conservatives sold their soul to the devil when they allow Republicans like Bush lite to coopt their agenda. Whatever we say about Reed, however we connect him with Abramoff, Reed has ideas and he stands for something unlike the puppet Bush and now the sellout McCain.

If conservatives are now sorry they ever allowed George in their house, they should count the fingers on their hands before they do the final shale with McCain. This is not a well man and he is no Christian.

Posted by: Strange bedfellows | August 19, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Whether he showed or not is not the issue. The fact that he was involved forever continues to link McCain with this band of crooks and public office stealers.

They robbed the American Indians. They have stolen national elections. They continue to rob US citizens every day as they line their pockets from the war in Iraq while plundering the US's most precious resource (the lives our sons and daughters) and the US treasury.

America while you are suffering, McCain's still adviser, Phil Gramm, laughs at your economic whining and continues to support zero regulation for US financial institutions. At the same time, McCain makes jokes that only at $5M are you rich and therefore food for taxes while McCain threatens to undermine the Social Security of your parents and grandparents.

Posted by: McCain's Campaign for the Rich | August 19, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Ralph Reed ,Abramoff, Carl Rove, John Mcsame, all cut from the same cloth.

Posted by: tygirl | August 19, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse


Only rarely does someone surface with qualifications as well as insights and a delivery that stimulate thinking. Even more rarely does an individual stimulate the very personal mental articulation of self observation.

Bacevich deserves as broad an audience as can be exposed to his thoughtful analysis.

Posted by: PacificGatePost | August 19, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse


I sincerely doubt Jerome Corsi would be at a McCain fundraiser. The guy is a crazed pseudo-libertarian and has written as much made-up trash about McCain as the made-up trash he wrote in his book on Obama. However, it is a sad commentary on McCain that he won't stand up against a man like that.

Posted by: Justin from Chicago | August 19, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Was Jerome Corsi there?

Posted by: WallEst | August 19, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

And a mccain administration would be different from Bush III, how?

Isn't it a shame to watch mccain compromise all his values and convictions for the sake of the party. He has no authenticity - how effective can he possibly be? The neocons have themselves a new puppet. I guess that's why the gop has traditionally selected underachievers for their nominations - they're looking for the perfect patsies - and they found a couple winners in bush and mccain. With no convictions, how can you tell who mccain will actually be working for. I'd bet it won't be us.

Posted by: Not fooled | August 19, 2008 8:06 AM | Report abuse

Should we start taking bets on how long our country can survive like this. Any ideas on what to do when your whole Government becomes useless.

Posted by: Mike | August 19, 2008 6:42 AM | Report abuse

The Republican party is, "shot." Anybody of any statue has lost respect and the leadership is proven "rotten" no matter to whom or which way you turn. This is what may be expected when your only constituency are the wealthiest of the wealthy; it's always, always, about blind greed which leads to corruption.

As a country of essentially two-party politics, Republicans of course, have to put someone up for elections. It would be best if they took some time to re-group rather than trying to convince us to put up with more of their stench.

Posted by: Reggie Boykins | August 19, 2008 4:40 AM | Report abuse

Typical Dem stumbling: instead of waiting until after the event (when they would have had footage of McCain WITH Reed), they act like the Keystone Cops ... sirens blaring the whole way there ... ensuring that the perps have had sufficient warning to get away clean! D'oh!

Posted by: James Acuna | August 19, 2008 2:11 AM | Report abuse

What a fantastic non-story; its only use prove how unbalanced your rag is.

Posted by: paul graham | August 19, 2008 12:59 AM | Report abuse

It would be well worth going to NPR/Bill Moyer's web page and order if you can't see his Disk on a full hour TV show he put together about a month ago fully illustrating the e-mails between Reed and Abramoff reflecting both parties as greedy, grubby rip-off artists stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from naive indian tribes/others buying all the republican influence they can and some of their relationships with Karl Rove.
It is my intention to contact every Obama student leader of any college in my county to share this disk with them and discuss ways to make certain every student on campus sees it. Ralph Reed was said to be the organizer of McCain's fund raiser in the south tonight. It appears McCain's campaign was willing to come for the money, but Ralph is now persona non-grata for publicity purposes/presence.
If you lay down with dogs, you get fleas. Remember how 75% of McCain's campaign staff were lobbyists until recently? Remember how former senator Graham(R-Fl), now UBS lobbyist, the destroyer of the regulatory firewalls smashed to smitherenes by his 1999 legislation and objected to the "whining", yet "Fix" networks reports its obvious that Graham continues to be McCain's economics Plato. McCain puts Tony Soprano to shame. He's as crooked as a dogs hind leg.

Posted by: richard | August 19, 2008 12:51 AM | Report abuse

McCain has no choice but to hang out with "folks like this"....he's Republican and the whole lot is corrupt in some form or fashion.

Posted by: Dallas Mike | August 19, 2008 12:49 AM | Report abuse

What this article fails to further tell you about Ralph Reed is why he was against these Indian casinos in the first place. It is due to the fact that Abramoff used Reed's influence with anti-gambling Christian conservatives in Texas to stop these new casinos from competing with those owned by tribes that had hired Abramoff as their D.C. lobbyist. I can't say that I am too sympathetic to the fundamentalists who got taken in by this scam though. It seems the movers and shakers in the GOP truly take them for granted, and they follow these liars anyway. Just push the right buttons, and the sheep will run right off the cliff.

Posted by: Carl | August 19, 2008 12:46 AM | Report abuse

Wrecking Crew

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | August 19, 2008 12:20 AM | Report abuse

Why does McCain keep sneaking off with Bush and folks like these? Wouldn't it make more sense to avoid them? What next, will he invite the rest of the Keating 5 to his birthday party?

Posted by: Joe | August 19, 2008 12:16 AM | Report abuse

Ralph Reed and John McCain are both weasels.

Posted by: DWayne | August 19, 2008 12:15 AM | Report abuse

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