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If Karl Rove did land an Enron consulting job for Ralph Reed, one thing is certain: Reed didn't really need his help. Reed's choirboy looks notwithstanding, he was no neophyte trying to get into the business. By the time he stepped down as executive director of the Christian Coalition in April 1997, Reed, now 40, was considered such a shrewd political operator and grass-roots organizer that any number of FORTUNE 500 firms were knocking on his door.

Still, there is no doubt that the Bush campaign had plenty of reasons to make Reed happy. After taking over Pat Robertson's fledgling religious...

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