The Republican National Committee’s (RNC) national convention in 2016 could be the first time in modern American history that one of the nation’s two major political parties will not showcase the last two presidential nominees it fought long and hard for to win the White House.
But that could very well be the case if former two-term president George W. Bush [2001-2008] and this year’s immensely flawed but fabulously wealthy nominee Mitt Romney are no-shows, as Bush was this year in Tampa, FLA, and Romney likely will be four years from now.
Tea Party govs vie for casino cash
Who will the RNC choose to be its future leader? Since four years is a long time in real time but a short time for speculation hungry political watchers, names being bandied about include Tea Party favorites like governors Bobby Jindal in Louisiana and Bob McDonnell in Virginia and national notables like Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, who Romney picked as his running mate.
Others in the mix include John Kasich in Ohio and Scott Walker in Wisconsin. First-term Gov. Kasich made a short-lived attempt to be a viable presidential candidate in 2000, but was immediately overwhelmed by then Texas Gov. George W. Bush, causing him to drop out, whereupon he turned to the Fox channel and Wall Street to make what many believe was a lucrative living.
Gov. Walker, who withstood a recall election this year, will need to win again in 2014, like Kasich needs to do, to keep any prospects of a national afterlife alive.
Reports have surfaced that Govs. Jindal, McDonnell and Kasich made pilgrimages while they were in Las Vegas for the Republican Governors Association winter meeting to the Venetian to meet privately with Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino mogul who shelled out tens of millions this election cycle to losing GOP candidates like Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney.
Adelson, a Las Vegas-based casino billionaire whose family donated a record $84 million or more to GOP outside groups, including $20 million each to the super PACs devoted to Romney and Gingrich, indicated he isn’t put off by his weak 2012 return on investment, and plans to continue giving big in the future, Politico reported.
Ohio Dems fired up and ready to go against Kasich
In Ohio, Democrats are energized if not salivating at the news that Gov. Kasich also paid a visit to Adelson. The former Fox TV show host and Lehman Brothers Wall Street banker has geared up for his 2014 re-run for governor.
“After shadowy outside groups spent more than $40 million dollars to support Josh Mandel’s losing campaign for Senate, Governor Kasich is actively positioning to be the next Ohio darling of the special interests,” Ohio Democratic Party spokesman Jerid Kurtz wrote. “Literally days after buckeye voters sent shadowy outside groups packing, Kasich was already playing politics with national Republicans in Las Vegas, sitting down with one of the biggest funders of special interests, casino developer Sheldon Adelson who is currently under criminal investigation by the Justice Department.”
Kurtz said Ohio voters should be “deeply disturbed” that over two years away from his re-election campaign, Gov. Kasich is already showing signs he’s willing to serve the special interests and take the same path as Josh Mandel,” Ohio’s first-term treasurer who was handily defeated by senior U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, despite being outspent by Mandel-friendly donors by a wide margin. The courting of Adelson a full four years out from 2016, Politico’s Kenneth P. Vogel wrote, “demonstrates how super PAC sugar daddies have become the new must-have feature for White House wannabes.”
“He’s a big Republican activist so I went over to talk with him,” Kasich told an Ohio reporter. Ohio’s Tea Party governor denied courting Adelman for help with money for gubernatorial re-election in two years or a wild-card bid for president in 2016.
In his typical herky-jerky style, Kasich said, “Hey, I would like everybody to help me, but I didn’t get into, like, ‘I need this from you or whatever,'” reports revealed. So what did Gov. Kasich talk to Adelson about? The topics of conversation included the planned Ohio Statehouse Holocaust Memorial.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Adelson showed his cards, saying he expects to “double” his political spending in the future. The chairman and chief executive officer of Las Vegas Sands Corp., 79-year-old Adelson spent about $150 million to defeat Democrats and elect Republicans over the past year, but for the most part, his spending produced little return on investment.
In the Jewish Daily Forward, Sheldon Adelson was accused of self-defeating meddling that turned the nation back to Barack Obama.
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