Political Animal


February 14, 2012 11:25 AM Newt Without Adelson

By Ed Kilgore

When the 2012 presidential campaign is gone and largely forgotten, historians are obviously going to focus on the advent of Super-PACs as a game-changing factor in the nomination process (and potentially the general election). But we are seeing a chapter written right now in the spectacle of the collapse of Newt Gingrich’s presidential bid the moment Sheldon Adelson and his family stopped sending him multi-million dollar checks. Here’s a quick summary of Newt Without Adelson from the New York Times’ Trip Gabriel:

In a memorandum on Jan. 30, Martin Baker, Mr. Gingrich’s national political director, wrote that because of “overwhelming support” after South Carolina, “the Gingrich campaign is now in a position where we will be able to respond to Romney’s ads in every state moving forward.”
But that promise appears to have quickly faded. The campaign did not run any advertisements after the Florida primary — in Nevada or elsewhere — according to Kantar Media.
Much of Mr. Gingrich’s four days in Nevada ahead of the caucuses there were spent seeking donors.

Now, reports Gabriel, in the runup to two crucial primaries on February 28 and then the multi-state events of Super Tuesday (March 6), Gingrich is spending much of his time in—California, which doesn’t hold its primary until June. And it’s all about fundraising:

He will be largely out of sight for part of this week, just as he was in the days before last week’s contests in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri, which Rick Santorum won, and before the Feb. 4 caucuses in Nevada, which Mitt Romney won. Even as he sacrifices time in front of voters, his prospects of raising the cash he needs are uncertain.
“Unless your name is Mitt Romney, raising money in this political environment is like trying to hit a bullet with another bullet while riding a horse,” said Ron Nehring, a former chairman of the California Republican Party.

Rick Perry’s tried to help him with his old network of bundlers, and Newt has had some success with internet-based small donor contributions in the past—though that kind of money is now flowing to Rick Santorum. So Newt’s roaming ever farther from the states where his campaign must eventually find traction—and where he might gain “earned media” from public appearances. Unless Adelson reopens the family checkbook, that’s how the long strange saga of Gingrich ‘12 will end: far from the spotlight he craves.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • Califlander on February 14, 2012 11:37 AM:

    "Edelson?" You mean this guy, right?

  • c u n d gulag on February 14, 2012 11:43 AM:

    I'm sure Newt's old pals on the Sunday bloviation festivals will keep the seat open for him whenever he wants in the next few weeks/months, right David?

    I mean, you've had the disgraces old horndog on when he wasn't doing anything to make the news, I don't think they can deny him when he still is - sort of...

  • TCinLA on February 14, 2012 11:43 AM:

    The only thing that could be better would be if Noootie was driving around Orangatang County headed to the next fund-raiser and he got T-boned in an intersection by a drunk-out-of-his-mind Republican lawyer doing 80mph in his Mercedes.

    Did I mention that I think Richard Nixon was a choir boy in comparison to this worthless fartsack masquerading as a human being.

  • stevio on February 14, 2012 11:48 AM:

    Too bad, Newt.

    I remember when my dad "stopped" fronting me money for ice cream. I was around 10. He told me to go get a job as a paper boy if I expected to continue my ice cream habit.

    Go get a job Newt. A real one. Not like the ones you've had in the past shilling for cynical money/power brokers who hate the existence of the low information voters your "brand" continues to manipulate.

    A real one job. become a productive member of the herd.


  • David Gregory on February 14, 2012 11:50 AM:

    Don't worry I and my colleagues will do all that we can do to keep ramming Gingrich down your throats..........

  • Howard F on February 14, 2012 11:53 AM:

    Um, it's "Adelson," by the way.

  • skeptonomist on February 14, 2012 11:57 AM:

    Did Gingrich's monetary support die before Florida? I think not, and he flopped. Cause and effect is harder than it looks, and not everything can be explained as a result of super-PAC advertising. Support for the successive Republican front-runners has mostly been controlled by other things, such as Gingrich's blatant appeal to racism in South Carolina, not to mention simple faddism in both the media and the electorate. In the long run Romney's money will tell - he's usually 1st or 2nd in individual contests - but there is lots of noise in the week-to-week fluctuations.

  • Josef K on February 14, 2012 12:16 PM:

    Would that all these clowns the GOP is auditioning would just fade away or flare out or just plain self-destruct.

  • MattF on February 14, 2012 12:36 PM:

    Tsk. Poor Noot. Poor Callista... I'm trying, but it's.. Just. Not. Working.

  • Hedda Peraz on February 14, 2012 12:56 PM:

    Most lunatics are not wealthy; Newt is fishing in barren waters.

  • Anonymous on February 14, 2012 1:39 PM:

    Music to my ears. Now Mitt will have to slug it out with a single unified nonMitt, without the ability to split the anti-mormon wingnuts in two. So we'll either end with a really bloodied nominee Mitt, or (be still my heart) a nominee Ricky.

    There's not enough popcorn in the world.

  • POed Lib on February 14, 2012 2:34 PM:

    Citizens United effectively means that we are now an oligarchy. We have candidates running as fronts for rich billionaires. Newt for Edelson, Santorum for Foster Frieze, it's absolutely nauseating. If there is a person who has enough money, they can buy the election. This is constitutional? Not in a billion years.

  • Cha on February 14, 2012 3:08 PM:

    That's right..it is Sheldon Adelson.

  • Centerfielddj on February 15, 2012 8:04 AM:

    I love the pungency of the CRP Chair's metaphor, what with all the bullets flying around. Here in California, the Republicans are as popular as venereal disease, they're desperately trying to hang on to just 1/3rd of each house of the Legislature so they can continue ue to destroy our budget, and here comes Big Head Newt, desperate to dry up some of their funding sources? I'd be quite pissed too!