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Rahmbo and LaHood laugh it up; Ralph Reed rules out running in Georgia 7th district.

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John Gizzi’s Short Takes

Rahmbo and LaHood laugh it up; Ralph Reed rules out running in Georgia 7th district.

Rahm and Ray Show:  When the Former Members of Congress Association honored U.S. Secretary of Transportation and onetime Republican House member (1994-2008) Ray LaHood on March 16, the surprise speaker stole the show.  Addressing a full house at Washington’s Ritz-Carlton Hotel that included current Representatives Darrell Issa (R.-Calif.) and Charles Rangel (D.-NY.) as well as former members from throughout the country, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel said the warm introduction he was given “would make my mother proud and my father amazed.”  Turning to the guest of honor, Emmanuel recalled how, when he served as a Democratic House member (2000-08), fellow Illinoisan LaHood would organize dinners that included lawmakers from both parties.

“We would consume six bottles of wine,” deadpanned Emmanuel, “and I picked up the tab!”  Declaring that this was “payback time,” Emmanuel pointed to the lone Republican in the Obama Cabinet and admonished him to “make five more calls on the healthcare bill!”

Reed Nixes Race:  With the news that Rep. John Linder (R.-Ga.) is stepping down after 18 years in office, speculation immediately focused on former State GOP Chairman and past Christian Coalition head Ralph Reed as a possible candidate in the 7th District (suburban Atlanta).

But Reed put the speculation to rest two weeks ago when he announced that he would not run for Congress.  In ruling out a race, the onetime “boy wonder” of evangelical conservatism pointed to his latest project: the Faith and Freedom organization, which is dedicated to mobilizing values voters behind conservative candidates for the House and Senate in 2010.  With Faith and Freedom just beginning to take off, Reed explained, it was more important to help elect many conservatives to office than just one congressman.

The GOP candidates now running to succeed Linder in the heavily Republican district are State Sen. Dan Balbour and State Rep. Clay Cox, both considered strong conservatives.

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Written By

John Gizzi has come to be known as â??the man who knows everyone in Washingtonâ? and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on whatâ??s going on in the nationâ??s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as â??Gizzi on Politicsâ? and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of â??Gizziâ??s America,â? video interviews that appear on HumanEvents.com. Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. Johnâ??s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com

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