First it was Focus on the Family’s new CEO saying he wanted to “see more families like Obama’s,” and now it is Ralph Reed invoking the President as a role model of sorts.
Reed, the wunderkind behind the Christian Coalition during its glory days, has since traded on his values work for more lucrative lobbying gigs. But as USNews’ Dan Gilgoff reports, Reed is back with something called the Faith and Freedom Coalition. Gilgoff writes that it is targeting “white evangelicals and observant Catholics”–but the group also wants to broaden its appeal:
“This is not your daddy’s Christian Coalition,” Reed told Gilgoff in an interview Monday. “It’s got to be more brown, more black, more female, and younger. It’s critical that we open the door wide and let them know if they share our values and believe in the principles of faith and marriage and family, they’re welcome.”
“There’s a whole rising generation of young leaders in the faith community, and rather than nab the publicity I did at Christian Coalition, I want to cultivate and train that rising generation,” Reed said. “One question is, who is our future Barack Obama, doing local organizing just like he was in the 1990s?”
Imitation is, as they say, the sincerest form of flattery. You can make up your own mind about Reed’s sincerity. But he’ll also need a message that appeals to that broader base, rather than just wishing them into his new coalition. According to his message on the website, I’m not sure it’s quite there:
Our nation is truly at a crossroads. The Obama administration and the dominant media are leading us in the direction of bigger government, higher taxes, extreme social policy, liberal judges, and exploding debt. We are standing in the gap to oppose these policies.
We are a grassroots coalition of people of faith, small businessmen and women, and like-minded citizens dedicated to promoting sound public policy at every level of government. We are advocating time-honored values, protecting the dignity of life and marriage, reducing taxes, and insuring fiscal responsibility in Washington.
And that will attract more voters–how?