Ever wondered what it’s like in the sharp-elbowed arena of presidential politics -- what really goes on behind the headlines? If so, the new book “Dark Horse,” by political insider and genius strategist Ralph Reed, is a must-read.
Dr. Reed is perhaps best known for his work in the 1990s as executive director of the Christian Coalition. He also has worked on seven presidential campaigns and served as senior adviser to both of President George W. Bush’s campaigns. Although a novel, “Dark Horse” pulls the curtain back on our modern political system. And despite the fact that Reed conceived the storyline some three decades ago, it has amazing similarities to the real-life dynamics of this presidential election.
The world he illuminates isn’t pretty, but it’s fascinating. This work of fiction is filled with what Ralph has learned through years of experience in the political trenches, and actually provides readers a better political education than all the newspapers and cable-news networks combined.
That “Dark Horse” includes stunning parallels to the 2008 election is typical of what often distinguishes Reed from other political pundits: He understands history and its intersection with modern social and political dynamics in such depth that he frequently predicts the political future correctly. Ralph Reed is truly one of the great political strategists of our time.
In “Dark Horse,” we find the first African-American major party nominee for president in U.S. history, the first woman on a national ticket since 1984, and a controversial African-American preacher who influences the election. In the story, the GOP nominates a national security conservative who is a moderate on social issues, which angers religious conservatives. Remarkably, Ralph outlined the story when he was just a teenager, but he set it aside to write some other time.
It was worth the wait. Readers get to eavesdrop on conversations about the best way to ruin one’s opponents. They attend meetings that turn out to be thinly disguised power plays. They hear operatives talk about brass knuckles and taking “head shots” at the opposition. It’s a rough-and-tumble world.