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Mogul’s $10m Newt Ploy: Stop Santorum, Aid Mitt

Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas gaming billionaire, is reported to be on the verge of donating another $10 million to the pro-Newt Gingrich super-PAC Winning Our Future, which should give some new steam to Gingrich’s fading hopes of winning the Republican nomination.

But not that much. According to a Wall Street Journal report (subscribers only; check out The Hill’s useful summary here), Adelson doesn’t particularly expect Gingrich to win. He wants to keep the former House speaker going in order to split up Rick Santorum’s social conservative base and smooth the path for Mitt Romney, who Adelson considers more electable in November.

Much has been written about Adelson’s devotion to Gingrich and their shared friendship with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Less noticed is the billionaire’s deep opposition to President Obama (see here, for example). Sources who know Adelson personally say it is an unhidden and deeply felt loathing, and that the White House is keenly aware and takes it seriously.

Only 10 days ago Adelson had reportedly decided to stop donating to Gingrich, viewing him as a lost cause.

The Journal reported last Wednesday on Adelson’s Machiavellian pivot back to Gingrich, citing unnamed sources who had spoken to the mogul, before anything concrete was known about his actual donation plans. CBS News reported the planned (though unconfirmed) $10 million donation on Friday.

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