Thursday, April 23, 2015

Grovelling for dollars on the campaign trail

By Richard Barry

Maybe I'm too sensitive, but I find it very troubling that some in the media are referring to the spectacle of GOP presidential hopefuls auditioning in front of wealthy donors as things like the "Koch brothers primary" or the "Sheldon Adelson primary."

Perhaps we should assign these "primaries" a date and have said rich people announce their choices with great fanfare. An American Idol or The Voice format would work just fine. Who would be the show host? So many options.

We are supposed to pretend that the scads of money thrown at the winners of these special primaries won't corrupt the democratic process, that the Adelsons and Kochs of the world have as much right as anyone to support their choices in whatever manner they see fit. What fresh nonsense.

If you are keeping track, here's the latest:
Before Iowa and New Hampshire, GOP candidates are competing in the Sheldon Adelson primary, and some will travel to his posh Venetian hotel in Las Vegas this in hopes of winning it. But one candidate — Marco Rubio — has emerged as the clear front-runner, according to nearly a half-dozen sources close to the multibillionaire casino mogul.

In recent weeks, Adelson, who spent $100 million on the 2012 campaign and could easily match that figure in 2016, has told friends that he views the Florida senator, whose hawkish defense views and unwavering support for Israel align with his own, as a fresh face who is “the future of the Republican Party.” He has also said that Rubio’s Cuban heritage and youth would give the party a strong opportunity to expand its brand and win the White House.

Again, the image of a bunch of supposedly accomplished candidates waiting together in the outer room of the great man's compound waiting for an opportunity to beg for cash is more than a little sickening. No?

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