The Brilliant Demise of Allen Quist

At the 1998 Republican convention, the conservative crusade comes Coleman's way

Meanwhile, Coleman is off and running. The Republican Party hasn't been this unified in 20 years, and he is the charismatic, well-funded beneficiary of that good will. Two days after the convention, Coleman embarked on a fly-around of smaller cities across the state--"striking while the iron is hot," campaign chair Georgacas called it. Throughout this election season, he will no doubt deploy his uncanny ability to cajole and co-opt the affections of any potential voter he meets. Between ballots on the convention floor last Friday, he even tried it with Quist's running mate, Dan Williams. As the two came face to face during their respective greet-and-gropes with simpatico delegates, Coleman reached over, gave Williams a big hug, and whispered softly into the pastor's ear, "You are my hero."

And why not? For one brief and glorious moment, Williams helped turn Allen Quist into Abraham Lincoln.

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