Wednesday, March 07, 2012
Foster Friess ....................................... .....................Sheldon Adelson
March 7th, 2012
Well, well, well... The morning after Super-Tuesday in the GOP primaries political reality sets in. Mitt Romney would and could well lose his tenuous hold on the Republican Presidential nomination this year were it not for a religious standoff between the two humongous donors who alone are keeping financially alive the candidacies of his only real challengers.
Had either Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich been given a clear field yesterday to unify the right-wing discontent that holds ex-Massachusetts' Governor Romney in contempt his candidacy would have ground to a halt. The possibility remains it might still. Without both candidates vying for the same voters yesterday and last week, Rick Santorum would have won Michigan, Ohio and Georgia, in addition to Tennessee, North Dakota and Oklahoma, and Mr. Romney's candidacy would be in utter shambles.
Mr. Adelson, Gingrich's lone financial supporter, has quite publicly declared his fondness for Mr. Romney. The only major Santorum funder, Mr. Friess loathes Mr. Gingrich but appears quite ready to support Mr. Romney should he win the nomination. The millions they are donating to Mr. Gingrich and Mr. Santorum, respectively, both of whom have virtually no other financial support to keep their campaigns going, appear to be advanced against the possibility either Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum would find themselves as the sole 'conservative' candidate.
Up until this moment it has seemed the height of stupidity. Why would two billionaires waste money backing utterly implausible candidates whose candidacies would implode without them? That is, until this morning. The results of the ten primaries yesterday make clear these moguls are no fools. They have been, as usual, prescient. With only one or the other of them operating their "first choice" candidate would now be the presumptive frontrunner. The GOP would be in a state of near-total collapse.
Without them both making it impossible for either Santorum or Gingrich to walk away from their vast financial commitments, their opposite number would have unified the anti-Romney voters (simply through grassroots and small dollar donations) and yesterday overwhelmed the Romney behemoth.
The otherwise reckless and ridiculous sums they have spent seemed sheer idiocy before now. However, today it is clear Romney could not make his way to the nomination without their countervailing donations to Santorum and Gingrich.
The Teaparty should be furious. But that they are very dim bulbs has once again been proved, this time by the fact they have not twitched to the game even yet.
A quick look at the very different lifestyles and political agendas of the 'gentlemen' above explains how and why they have become natural nemeses. What shouldn't be lost on observers is that they have both been proved cannily right. Absent the other Mr. Romney's candidacy would have sunk yesterday, laid low by either Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum. And Ron Paul's part in this play is morally loathsome. He has neutralized and thoroughly neutered the Libertarian vote in the service of nominating a big business, big government, big military candidate -- a man who shares absolutely none of the values of his constituency.
True, Gingrich and Santorum are both incompetent -- one a zealous, unprincipled demagogue, the other a moral idiot. But Paul claims to be running to further ideals both of these men share. What's his idealistic motive for furthering Mitt Romney?