As regular readers of this site know, Via Meadia’s loyal interns help research and prepare the various posts that go up on the site. Normally as part of our policy of keeping the rising generation off-balance we kennel them in the dark on short rations when they aren’t actually writing for VM.Frequent Via Meadia contributor Adam Clancy escaped our surveillance long enough to write a piece on why the Newt Gingrich primary campaign has run on so interminably. It’s up at The American Interest where you can read it and comment.One of Adam’s key findings: it helps to have friends:
But as Gingrich found out all it now takes is the support of one billionaire to keep your campaign alive indefinitely. For Gingrich, that billionaire is the casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam. Adelson donated $5 million to the floundering Gingrich campaign after Iowa. When that failed to resuscitate the campaign Miriam kicked in another $5 million in the lead-up to South Carolina. And as if to prove that casino owners can be just as profligate as their customers, Adelson donated another $5 million in mid-February after it became apparent that Gingrich’s win in South Carolina was not the game changer they had hoped it would be. All told, the Gingrich super PAC “Winning Our Future” raised $18.8 million through the end of February, of which the Adelsons contributed $16.5 million. It is fair to say that without the Adelsons’ largesse, enabled by the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling, Gingrich would have gone quietly into the good night. […]Almost by definition, the only way a struggling candidate like Newt Gingrich can become relevant is to bring down the frontrunner. Gingrich decided to take the gloves off, and unlike in years past, the infusion of cash provided by Adelson allowed an also-ran like Gingrich to swing away. Romney suddenly began to resemble Gingrich’s personal punching bag and his favorability ratings declined precipitously. Romney’s campaign determined their candidate should refrain from hitting back because doing so would undermine his appeal to the kind of independents he needs to persuade in November. Romney had hoped to ignore Gingrich but after getting thumped by the portly Georgian in South Carolina he was forced to take seriously the Gingrich threat.
Unless Congress takes another crack at campaign finance reform, says Clancy, expect more primary campaigns like this one in the future: nasty, brutish, and long.Read the whole thing here. We plan to continue giving our interns opportunities to try out their writing skills, and appreciate the readers who take the time to look at their work and respond with their candid views.