Forbes has confirmed that billionaire Sheldon Adelson, along with his wife Miriam, has donated $10 million to the leading Super PAC supporting presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney–and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. A well-placed source in the Adelson camp with direct knowledge of the casino billionaire’s thinking says that further donations will be “limitless.”
The news media likes to play with these kinds of numbers as if there's some great meaning in them - and it's particularly juicy when it seems like some billionaire or another is bragging about campaign contributions specifically to Republicans. Whether it's Adelson, the Kochs, Foster Friess or any number of big-money GOP donors, they all play into the media's perception that Republicans are "buying" elections.
This ignores the fact that Barack Obama is a figurative fundraising machine. Obama started 2012 with $250 million in the bank, and while the hype around his potential to get to a billion was probably overhyped, he's going to be a force to be reckoned with, GOP billionaires or not. Barack Obama outspent John McCain three-to-one in the closing days of the 2008 campaign after outraising him by a massive amount. Did Obama "buy" the 2008 election?
Of course not. What's also ignored is the extent to which rich Democrats are embarrassed by their campaign expenditures. Conservatives believe that their money was earned meritoriously, and that campaign money is a form of free speech. The dominant progressive ideology is that money isn't "earned" but is made by luck, and that campaign expeditures are legal corruption. So you don't see George Soros or Warren Buffett out there proudly trumpeting their contributions to their favored candidates.
While the news media likes to hype up the big-money donors on the Republican side, if money is a problem in politics, Barack Obama is its major beneficiary.
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