Ten Cents a Dance

Did you follow the coverage of the Sheldon Adelson audition in Vegas?  The one where GOP Presidential hopefuls performed their tricks in hopes of winning Adelson’s BIG bag of money?

It was like American Idol, but all the talented young singers had been replaced by pasty white men.  But oh, how the contestants pranced and danced their carefully choreographed routines, dressed in their finest conservative costumes to see who could best amuse the king, er, Adelson, and get the very special privilege of being purchased by the casino magnate. The Sunday New York Times had this:

Amid a crisis in Ukraine, some of the top contenders for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 addressed a meeting here of the Republican Jewish Coalition, a collection of elite campaign donors and party activists, offering a unified message of alarm and dismay over the White House’s approach to national security and foreign policy.

The event has long lured national Republican candidates eager to burnish their reputations with the interventionist wing of their party. But it now doubles as something else: a de facto audition for the electoral affections of the casino magnate and top Republican donor Sheldon G. Adelson, a member of the Republican Jewish Coalition’s board and the owner of the Venetian hotel, where the event was held.

Live! The Fabulous Venetian Resort and Casino is proud to present . . . . The Republican Marionettes!  Marvel at the ease in which Ohio’s John Kasich addresses the casino magnate by his first name! Witness Jeb Bush’s daring private meeting inside Sheldon’s own airplane hanger! Watch Chris Christie, the comeback kid, tout his family’s trip to Israel!  Listen as Scott Walker boasts that his family decorates a Christmas tree AND lights a menorah every December! Why, he even cites the meaning of his son’s name in Hebrew! SCORE!

Wait . . . is that Christie seeing how many bagels he can eat in under a minute?  Was that the talent part of the competition, or just his typical lunch?

If there ever were proof that we are in desperate need of campaign finance reform, this is it. Time offers this:

Adelson and his wife, Miriam, spent more than $93 million in the 2012 elections and have signaled they will spend heavily in the next presidential campaign. 

The potential presidential candidates, none of whom is Jewish, found creative ways to emphasize their strong support for Israel and Jewish traditions. Walker talked about his father’s first pilgrimage to Israel in the 1980s. The governor said that at home during the holidays, he displays both a Christmas tree and a menorah. And he said that he had named his first son Matthew, which is translated in Hebrew as “gift of God.”

Christie spoke at length about a recent trip he took to Israel with his family. He said he was taken with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s “strength and ­resolve.” When he met Israeli President Shimon Peres, Christie said, “I felt like he had walked out of a history book.”

Christie also quipped that he likes traveling to Israel because, he said, the country is “about the same size as New Jersey.”

Adelson has yet to declare a winner, so we don’t know which hopeful huckster hit the Vegas jackpot.  Perhaps he will decide that none in this crop of conservative clowns is worth the asking price.

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