While Romney, Ryan, Christie and Rubio get the lion's share of attention during the Republican Convention this week, three one-time college Republicans who are now the party's real power-brokers -- Karl Rove, Ralph Reed and Grover Norquist -- are busy doing what they do best: leveraging their political, religious, and financial resources to back pro-corporate, anti-government objectives at the core of the conservative agenda.
The true surprise at the Tampa convention is Ralph Reed's resurrection. When the former head of the Christian Coalition was discovered to have raked in millions of dollars from the super lobbyist -- and eventually convicted felon -- Jack Abramoff, Reed wound up in political purgatory. But outraged by the election of Barack Obama, and responding to what he describes as God's call (via Sean Hannity), Reed returned to start the Faith and Freedom Coalition with the aim of toppling Barack Obama from the White House.
To succeed, Reed needs to win the allegiance of many of the trusting Christian followers he had duped and double-crossed while working with Abramoff. Can he pull it off? That's the story this week on Moyers & Company, for which we created this extended preview clip -- Consider it a crash course on Ralph Reed.
Watch the full piece this weekend on Moyers & Company, during which we'll also be joined by Mike Lofgren, a long-time Republican who says the rise of politicized religious fundamentalism transformed his party and created a de facto religious test for the presidency.