November 15, 2012
Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, an important financial backer of right-wing “pro-Israel” groups in the United States and elsewhere in the world, donated tens of millions of dollars to super PACs supporting the campaigns of numerous Republican candidates, including the Mitt Romney campaign. In every case but one—that of Senator-elect Dean Heller in Nevada—Adelson’s candidate lost.
Neoconservative blogger Rachel Abrams is notorious for her vindictive, hyperbolic rhetoric. After the re-election of President Obama, Abrams directed her invective at fellow Jews in the United States, who voted overwhelming for the president, writing: “We Jews have frequently enjoyed risking our own future in elections … and we’ve successfully done so once again.”
GOP strategist and super PAC head Karl is renowned for being ruthless in trying to win elections. But after marshaling hundreds of millions of dollars in a failed bid to defeat President Obama and a slate of Democratic legislators—as well as an embarrassing meltdown on Fox News during election night—many observers are wondering whether Rove’s magic has worn off. His effort to explain away the debacle by arguing that Obama has “suppressed the vote” also failed to impress.
American Israel Public Affairs Committee
One of the most influential lobbying groups in Washington, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has been very successful at marshaling bipartisan support for an interventionist U.S. agenda in the Middle East—alongside staunch U.S. support for Israel. Although officially neutral in the 2012 presidential campaign, some observers argued that the group was quietly backing Mitt Romney, in part because of its advocacy of harsher measures against both Iran and Syria. AIPAC and the Romney campaign also shared personal connections: Dan Senor, the Bush spokesperson in Iraq and a key foreign policy adviser to the campaign, is a former AIPAC intern whose sister is the head of the lobby’s Israeli arm.
Among rightist beltway think tanks, the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute—with its mix of hardline free market advocacy and foreign policy militarism— arguably stood most to gain from a Romney victory. The last Republican occupant of the White House hired some two dozen AEI scholars to serve in high-level posts. Shortly after President Obama was projected to win on election night, AEI’s Michael Barone, who had predicted that Romney would win by a near landslide, penned a subdued commentary, deploring the great divide in the “Two Americas.” “One America listens to Rush Limbaugh,” simplified Barone, “the other to NPR.”
Jennifer Rubin, a prolific neoconservative blogger for the Washington Post, emerged during the 2012 campaign as an enthusiastic and largely uncritical supporter of the Mitt Romney campaign. “At every opportunity,” wrote the Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf, “Rubin wrote favorably about Romney and his campaign. And she didn't just get things wrong, sometimes absurdly, she always got them wrong in a way that redounded to Team Romney's benefit.
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