, who shot to national prominence in 1995 with his Christian Coalition, is back in the business of building political juggernauts with his new Faith and Freedom Coalition, a group he describes as “a 21st-century version of the Christian Coalition on steroids,” according to a report by the New York Times
His warm greeting by attendees at a recent meeting of the Tri-County Tea Party in central Florida may be a sign of gaining some traction -- as he looks to impact the 2012 campaign by appealing to the millions of people who are pledged to the fiscal concerns of the Tea Party and embrace the values of evangelicals.
“That’s our market,” he says.
His new group is bracing for its second annual conference in Washington, D.C. on Friday and Saturday, featuring on the roster such luminaries as former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, Herman Cain, a retired businessman, and Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota. Donald Trump is also on the list.
Rounding out the field: evangelical leaders like Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, and top echelon Republicans like Speaker John A. Boehner and Reince Priebus, the Republican National Committee chairman.
“Ralph is rebuilding his image,” opines Matt Towery, a columnist and pollster in Atlanta who once managed Newt Gingrich’s Congressional campaigns. “How powerful will he be? We have no way of knowing, but he’s very clever and has the talent and connections to reinvent himself.”
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