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Wednesday, January 2, 2019
Learning Curve: Trump Is Turning Against Seldon Adelson After Alliance Backfired
Syria Withdrawal: Trump Is Turning Against Sheldon Adelson After Alliance With Jewish Oligarch Backfired
The electoral alliance with Sheldon Adelson lost the House to Democrats and Trump is sore about it
A lot of people are scratching their heads over Trump’s recent moves distancing himself from Israel.He announced that he was pulling troops from Syria, thereby nettling Israel’s friends who counted on him to take on Iran in Syria. Iran, Iran, Iran, say Chuck Schumer, Lindsey Graham, and Bret Stephens. Trump overrode John Bolton, his neoconservative national security adviser, in announcing the withdrawal. Jonathan Tobin writes that Trump just gave the finger to his Jewish voters.
I think there’s a simple explanation for Trump’s shift. He was counting on his biggest donor, Sheldon Adelson, to deliver the House to him in the midterm elections; and Adelson failed, bigtime. Donald Trump is sore about that.
Remember that in the runup to the election last spring, the transactional president did his part: He tore up the Iran deal and moved the embassy to Jerusalem and installed Adelson’s friend John Bolton as national security adviser– after declining to do all these actions in his first year in office, he saved them for the election year.
What did Trump get for those moves? Bupkus. Yes Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam gave upwards of $87 million to the Republican congressional effort, including some $50 million to the Congressional Leadership Fund. More than half that money came in last May, just as the embassy was opened. All to save the House.
Adelson’s ineffectiveness might be judged by his own state. The 85-year-old casino mogul and his wife gave some $20,000 specifically to a fundraising committee supporting Cresent Hardy, an incumbent Republican congressman in Nevada. Democrat Steve Horsford walloped Cresent Hardy 52 to 44 percent! In fact, three of four congresspeople from Nevada are Democrat.
You don’t think Trump noticed all this? Of course he did. Donald Trump is a shrewd man, and he has surely concluded what any gamer would, that Sheldon Adelson’s millions didn’t have the impact in 2018 that they did in 2016, when they helped deliver the White House. Hey, maybe Adelson should have given more for the embassy! He can afford it!