Trouble for the Jeb Bush money machine?

The ace in the hole for Jeb Bush’s presidential candidacy has always been the “money primary.”  Big donors line up to support a chosen instrument, and the overwhelming organizational, advertising, and campaigning advantages money can buy serve to crush the other potential and actual candidates for the nomination.  It is how the GOP establishment, tightly tied to groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Wall Street heavyweights, maintains its control.  Ted Cruz may have managed to raise $2 million in 3 days after announcing his candidacy, but that is just peanuts compared to the $100 million Jeb expects to raise for the primary campaign.

But one of the biggest of big donors, and an opinion leader among other donors, is Sheldon Adelson, the casino mogul reckoned to be one of the wealthiest people in the world.  And he is very unhappy over James Baker, Bush family consigliere and an enemy of Israel (Adelson’s dearest cause), becoming foreign policy advisor to the Bush campaign and giving the keynote address at a recent J Street meeting.  The New York Times reports:

Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino mogul and a powerful donor to Republican “super PACs,” is among those who have expressed concerns to Mr. Bush’s friends and allies, several of them said. Mr. Adelson is said to be incensed over Mr. Baker’s comments and the lack of pressure put on him by the Bush team before his address — a significant concern, given that Mr. Adelson has the resources to pour tens of millions of dollars into the Republican presidential primary.

But the flare-up could thrust Mr. Bush into conflict with some of the most hawkish voices in his party, including some leading Republican donors, and a constituency determined to demonstrate its strength in the primary.

In the twisted world of New York Times editorial policy, those who seek to safeguard Israel from the threat of annihilation its enemies repeat with regularity are “hawks,” while those who would weaken its deterrence and defensibility inviting another attempt at a second Holocaust are “doves.”  Still, the Times acknowledges here that Jeb Bush now has to choose between family loyalty to a longtime courtier (Baker served as White House chief of staff and secretary of state for George H.W. Bush) and part of his fundraising edge.  And it looks like the vows of loyalty will win out:

Mr. Bush’s team ultimately concluded that Mr. Baker, a former secretary of state and a longtime Bush family friend, was not someone they could pressure.

As Joel Pollak of Breitbart acknowledges:

The potential may now be open for another candidate to win Adelson’s favor.

Ted Cruz and all the other potential Bush rivals are on notice.  The money primary has gotten a bit more complicated, and now it is less of a sure thing for Jeb Bush.

The ace in the hole for Jeb Bush’s presidential candidacy has always been the “money primary.”  Big donors line up to support a chosen instrument, and the overwhelming organizational, advertising, and campaigning advantages money can buy serve to crush the other potential and actual candidates for the nomination.  It is how the GOP establishment, tightly tied to groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Wall Street heavyweights, maintains its control.  Ted Cruz may have managed to raise $2 million in 3 days after announcing his candidacy, but that is just peanuts compared to the $100 million Jeb expects to raise for the primary campaign.

But one of the biggest of big donors, and an opinion leader among other donors, is Sheldon Adelson, the casino mogul reckoned to be one of the wealthiest people in the world.  And he is very unhappy over James Baker, Bush family consigliere and an enemy of Israel (Adelson’s dearest cause), becoming foreign policy advisor to the Bush campaign and giving the keynote address at a recent J Street meeting.  The New York Times reports:

Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino mogul and a powerful donor to Republican “super PACs,” is among those who have expressed concerns to Mr. Bush’s friends and allies, several of them said. Mr. Adelson is said to be incensed over Mr. Baker’s comments and the lack of pressure put on him by the Bush team before his address — a significant concern, given that Mr. Adelson has the resources to pour tens of millions of dollars into the Republican presidential primary.

But the flare-up could thrust Mr. Bush into conflict with some of the most hawkish voices in his party, including some leading Republican donors, and a constituency determined to demonstrate its strength in the primary.

In the twisted world of New York Times editorial policy, those who seek to safeguard Israel from the threat of annihilation its enemies repeat with regularity are “hawks,” while those who would weaken its deterrence and defensibility inviting another attempt at a second Holocaust are “doves.”  Still, the Times acknowledges here that Jeb Bush now has to choose between family loyalty to a longtime courtier (Baker served as White House chief of staff and secretary of state for George H.W. Bush) and part of his fundraising edge.  And it looks like the vows of loyalty will win out:

Mr. Bush’s team ultimately concluded that Mr. Baker, a former secretary of state and a longtime Bush family friend, was not someone they could pressure.

As Joel Pollak of Breitbart acknowledges:

The potential may now be open for another candidate to win Adelson’s favor.

Ted Cruz and all the other potential Bush rivals are on notice.  The money primary has gotten a bit more complicated, and now it is less of a sure thing for Jeb Bush.