hough most political observers are counting Newt Gingrich out of the 2012 presidential race, billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson is keeping the faith, and then some. Earlier this year, Adelson gave $5 million to a Gingrich-aligned super PAC, then another $5 million, almost single-handedly reviving Gingrich's campaign after back-to-back embarrassments in Iowa and New Hampshire. Now, not only is Adelson, 78, reportedly pumping another $10 million into Gingrich's camp to get him through March 6's Super Tuesday elections, he tells Forbes that he still "might give... $100 million to Gingrich." While that seems like an awful lot, it's still just a fraction of Adelman's $25 billion fortune, notes Forbes' Steven Bertoni. Would even this unprecedented individual political donation be enough to revive Gingrich's presidential campaign?
This cash could resurrect Newt: Gingrich has already seen "more comebacks this Republican presidential primary season than anyone can remember," says Karyn McDermott at Examiner. And none other than Rush Limbaugh is predicting another rebound for Newt. "Conventional political punditry and wisdom have Newt looking good in the South," and if Adelson keeps writing multi-million-dollar checks, there's no reason Gingrich can't go all the way to the Republican convention.
"Newt: Lazarus with a triple bypass?"
But Adelson's millions come with strings: The $100 million pledge is "an attention-grabbing statement, but a largely meaningless one," at least for Newt, says Marc Tracy at The Tablet. Adelson is "loyal to his friend Gingrich, but is ultimately concerned with unseating the president." It's likely Adelson won't put his donations toward Newt's negative attack ads against fellow Republicans, severely limiting Gingrich's options to get back in the race. The most likely scenario? Adelson reserves his largess for the eventual GOP nominee.
"Adelson may keep giving to Gingrich"
And Newt is still a losing bet: "Gingrich's chances of being anything more than a spoiler are long gone," says Jonathan Bernstein at The Washington Post. But thanks to these new "vanity super PACs," Adelson can keep Newt's "dying campaign afloat just because he wants to." That's dangerous for the GOP. The modern nominating system "depends on losers dropping out fairly early in the process," which happens naturally when donors only give to winning candidates. An Adelson-financed zombie Newt can only eat his own party.
"Are billionaires disrupting the presidential campaign?"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Who are the real gay marriage bigots?
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- 7 ways to be the most interesting person in any room
- Sorry Belle Knox, porn still oppresses women
- Colorado’s new ‘drive high, get a DUI’ commercials are actually pretty clever
- Watch The Daily Show mock Fox News' confused man-crush on Vladimir Putin
- Religious liberty should be a liberal value, too
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
- Why is American internet so slow?
- Why states should stop limiting the alcohol content in your beer
Subscribe to the Week