Adelson May Keep Giving to Gingrich
The unstoppable power of the Super PACs
The talk this morning is that Sheldon Adelson, the Jewish casino magnate, Israel hawk, and Newt Gingrich patron, told Forbes, “I might give $10 million or $100 million to Gingrich.” It’s an attention-grabbing statement but a largely meaningless one. Adelson’s true object, we’ve long known, is to defeat President Obama in November. There was some inkling that Adelson is against Rick Santorum because of Santorum’s hard-right stances on some social issues, and that part of the point of continuing to fund Gingrich—he is likely to give another $10 million to an affiliated Super PAC—was to draw Santorum supporters away in order to help Mitt Romney. But Adelson tells Forbes, “Most of what is being said about me in this current brouhaha is just not true.” (“Brouhaha”! Et tu, Shelly?) “I know Romney; I like him. I know Santorum; I like him. … The likelihood is that I’m going to be supportive of whoever the candidate is.” (He does add, “If Ron Paul is chosen I certainly wouldn’t do that.”)
In an interview with Tablet Magazine over the weekend, Fred Zeidman, a prominent Jewish Republican donor who has backed Romney for some time and who is friendly with Adelson, confirmed that Adelson is loyal to his friend, Gingrich, but is ultimately concerned with unseating the president. “It’s been his contention that he intended to keep Newt in the race as long as Newt wanted to stay in the race, and so I would expect that he would continue to keep him in the race,” he said. “Sheldon’s primary agenda is to beat Barack Obama, and whoever the candidate is, he would support him. If Santorum is the candidate, what are you gonna do? Cede the race to Obama?”
Zeidman couldn’t speak of Adelson’s immediate plans in terms of funding Gingrich: Adelson spent the weekend in Israel celebrating his son’s bar mitzvah, and he and Zeidman had not spoken recently. But will he really give Gingrich $100 million? “Only if he’s the candidate,” Zeidman emailed this morning.
“I know,” Zeidman added, “that after [Adelson’s] family the most important thing is Israel, and he thinks that’s in jeopardy as long as [Obama]’s our leader. That overrides everything. And the rest,” he said, in reference to some of Santorum’s less palatable positions, “we can worry about later.”
Adelson is taking a bit of flak for saying, in the Forbes interview, “I’m against very wealthy people attempting to or influencing elections. But as long as it’s doable I’m going to do it. Because I know that guys like [George] Soros have been doing it for years, if not decades.” Personally, I don’t see this as hypocrisy. He is playing by the rules. This spurt of news is the latest indication that the real story isn’t Adelson’s hawkish views on Israel but the astounding influence the post-Citizens United landscape gives to extremely wealthy individuals.
Billionaire Sheldon Adelson Says He Might Give $100M to Newt Gingrich or Other Republican [Forbes]
Gingrich’s Main Backer Plays Two Angles [WSJ]
Adelson To Give $10 Million More to PAC Supporting Gingrich [JTA]
GOP Campaigns Grow More Dependent on ‘Super PAC’ Aid [NYT]
Earlier: ‘Brouhaha’ Provokes a You-Know-What
The Problem With Sheldon Adelson
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.