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Sheldon Adelson's Search for an Electable Republican Who Hates Online Poker

Sheldon Adelson in 2012
Sheldon Adelson in 2012Photograph by John Locher/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP Photo

This weekend a crop of potential blue-chip GOP presidential candidates will assemble in Las Vegas competing for the attention, favor, and money of casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who is worth $38 billion. The marquee names in attendance: former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and current governors Chris Christie (New Jersey), Scott Walker (Wisconsin), and John Kasich (Ohio). Adelson really wants to elect a Republican president in 2016. And the fact that he and his wife dropped almost $93 million in the 2012 cycle is an indication of how much they’re willing to spend in pursuit of that goal.

What’s happening this weekend is essentially a beauty pageant. At some point soon, Adelson is going to pick a Miss Republican, and instead of a crown, the lucky winner will get a boatload of money, probably in the form of a candidate-specific Super PAC like the one he funded for his pal Newt Gingrich in 2012. I explain all this in video format here, standing outside Adelson’s Venetian hotel in Las Vegas: