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What Won't Rudy Do? | The Nation

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Katrina vanden Heuvel

Katrina vanden Heuvel

Politics, current affairs and riffs and reflections on the news.

What Won't Rudy Do?

Much ado was made of McCain's Light on the Road to Damascus moment regarding Jerry Falwell, formerly known as an agent of intolerance, last week. But the story of unlikely bedfellows that fell through the cracks was Rudy Giuliani's snuggle with Ralph Reed, the ex-leader of the Christian Coalition and current candidate for lieutenant governor of Georgia.

Leaving aside that Giuliani is a pro-gay rights, pro-choice, pro-gun control, Italian-Catholic Yankee and Ralph Reed is not, the question remains: what was a tough-on-crime fighter doing promoting the candidacy of a man who was in business with Jack Abramoff? It was the indicted lobbyist, after all, who allegedly paid Reed $4.2 million in illegal contributions to "mobilize Christian voters against casinos that would compete with Abramoff's clients."

In his past life, Prosecutor Rudy would have paraded someone like Reed in handcuffs before a scrum of media cameras. In his current incarnation, Politician Rudy praised him "as a really effective leader" during a fundraiser for Reed's embattled campaign.

Perhaps Giuliani was referring to Reed's peerless effectiveness in duping evangelicals into voting for Republicans who do not share their values. If that was the case, Giuliani will need all the help from Reed he can get.

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