Sheldon Adelson and Marco Rubio have been seen snuggling together for months now. The Guardian reports the casino magnate is poised to buy his first stake in Rubio Inc. Rubio needs billionaires to ride to the GOP presidential nomination and Adelson is looking for a pro-Israel horse to ride to victory the sweepstakes.
The Las Vegas mogul already has a controlling interest in Bibi Inc. (and literally owns Bibiton-Yisrael HaYom, Israel’s most popular daily newspaper), a wholly owned subsidiary of Israel Lobby Co. He’s seeking a complementary U.S. brand to round out his portfolio.
Adelson is seeking insurance not just regarding protecting Israeli interests, but protecting his own financial interests. That’s why Rubio sponsored a bill to ban internet gambling, a venture that could eventually eat into, if not destroy his gambling resort empire. He faces the same problem that bookstores and other brick and mortar stores faced when Amazon entered the retail space. While brick and mortar has not died, it has become far more of a niche than it was earlier as internet commerce expands rapidly. Adelson understands this could be his fate as well unless he buys a Congress member or fifty to spearhead his cause.
Rubio of course denies he’s sold anyone a stake in his corporate entity:
“When someone supports me, they buy into my agenda, I’m not buying into theirs.”
Sure you don’t. And the moon is made of green cheese and babies come from storks.
After this week’s dismal debate performance by Jeb Bush and Rubio’s supposedly cool-as-ice performance, another critical pro-Israel billionaire donor is laying his bet down on the Florida contender. Paul Singer, founder of the hedge fund powerhouse, Elliott Management, and largest individual donor to GOP election races, has gone “all in” on Rubio. To give a sense of the king of Republican bundlers prowess, he’s the third largest individual donor ($11.5-million) among all contributors to either party in 2014. And that’s just counting his own money and not the bundling he does by schnorring from his partners and other Wall Street vultures.
This means two things: Jeb Bush is dead meat. And Marco Rubio will likely (but not necessarily) be the eventual GOP nominee. If he is, we can expect more of the same sort of slavish pro-Israelism we saw in Newt Gingrich (Adelson’s early favorite) and Mitt Romney during the 2012 campaign.
But we shouldn’t expect much pushback from the likely Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, because Haim Saban has bought a majority stake in Hillary Inc. Saban, is very well-connected and engaged in active Inside the Beltway machinations, will ensure Hillary will toe a pro-Israel line. Just as fellow-Hollywood producer/financier, Arnon Milchan, has revealed his own work as an agent on behalf of the Mossad, I have little doubt Saban has played a similar role.
In a Hillary-Rubio matchup my money is on Hillary. Rubio is a callow, empty suit. While he has moxie in spades, he has no gravitas, no mastery of any issues. He has a good backstory, child of immigrants makes good, which is what appeals to Adelson (who prides himself on his own Horatio Alger story). But a campaign and presidency needs more than a backstory.
But don’t underestimate the hundreds of millions which GOP 1%ers will flood into the campaign coffers. In 2008, Adelson alone poured $150 million into Republican races. I predict that Singer and Adelson alone, this go round, could contribute as much as $500-million. I always make such predictions before the campaigns swing into high-gear. In 2008, I predicted $100-million from Adelson when such a number seemed insane. Turns out he gave even more. That’s why I’m going high this time around with $500-million. Adelson alone could give that much. But I’m trying to be slightly conservative in predicting their joint giving could match that number.
Most of us predicted disaster for our political process from Citizens United. But as far as the presidential election race is concerned, Adelson proved last time that even $150-million couldn’t buy the race for a lackluster candidate. So it’s likely that all those Wall Street 1%ers may be shut out again in 2016.
If Hillary wins you can expect even less movement on the Israel-Palestine issue than during Obama’s presidency. I don’t know which is worse, trying and failing as Obama did, or not trying at all, as is likely with Hillary. This makes even worse regional violence not only likely, but certain.
Silverstein has published Tikun Olam since 2003, It exposes the secrets of the Israeli national security state. He lives in Seattle, but his heart is in the east. He publishes regularly at Middle East Eye, the New Arab, and Jacobin Magazine. His work has also appeared in Al Jazeera English, The Nation, Truthout and other outlets.