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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"Meet the three billionaires who could drag out the GOP presidential primary, bloody up front-runner Mitt Romney and weaken the odds of defeating President Barack Obama: Sheldon Adelson, Foster Friess and Jon Huntsman, Sr. The three men are contributing millions of dollars to a trio of outside groups flooding the airwaves in early voting states with brutal ads attacking Romney and ads backing the candidates they would prefer to win the Republican nomination. Adelson, a Las Vegas casino mogul, has written a $5 million check — and has considered giving much more — to a so-called super PAC backing Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign. Huntsman, Sr., who made his fortune at the helm of an eponymous chemical and manufacturing company, reportedly has invested millions in a super PAC supporting the presidential bid of his son, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, Jr. And Friess, a Wyoming mutual fund master, acknowledged to POLITICO that he is a major financial backer of a super PAC supporting Rick Santorum called the Red, White and Blue Fund and is preparing to give more, but declined to say how much he has given or plans to give. Operatives say that without the super PAC air cover funded by these deep-pocketed political patrons and their associates, their favored candidates would have a tough time keeping their bare-bones campaigns going as long as they have — let alone beyond the next couple of contests in South Carolina and Florida. The prospect that these candidates could carry on is a testament to the new world of campaign money ushered in by a pair of federal court rulings in 2010: A single wealthy donor can now prop up a presidential campaign with unlimited cash, even if the candidate is getting little traction with voters." (Politico)


"It’s a bit too soon, even in the aftermath of his New Hampshire victory, for Mitt Romney to start picking a running mate. But it’s not too early for us to have some fun thinking about it. The veepstakes is one of the great political parlor games, an exercise both fascinating and overrated. A bad pick can hurt a campaign, as John McCain learned last time, but only in the rarest of instances does a No. 2 help a presidential candidate win the White House. (Could Hillary Clinton be an exception? Former New York Times editor Bill Keller is sure promoting the idea. But that remains a fantasy, given the remote likelihood that Barack Obama would dump Joe Biden.) If Romney is indeed the GOP nominee, he faces the most important decision of his campaign—not because a running mate will drag him across the finish line, but because the country will judge the way he makes his first presidential-level decision. Traditionally, there are three major factors to consider, although these may be relics of the past. In the old days, geographic balance was practically a must. But ever since Bill Clinton of Arkansas picked Al Gore of neighboring Tennessee, that seems less important in the media age. A second consideration is selecting someone who can deliver a crucial state. That may well have worked in the 1960 election, when Lyndon Johnson helped Jack Kennedy carry Texas. But Lloyd Bentsen couldn’t do the same for Michael Dukakis, and John Kerry lost North Carolina even with John Edwards on the ticket. The last two Republican nominees abandoned the key-state approach: Dick Cheney’s Wyoming and Sarah Palin’s Alaska don’t count for much in the Electoral College." (Howie Kurtz)


"The media movers and shakers are starting to trickle back into the dining room at Michael’s for another year of power lunches, but the place isn’t exactly firing on all cylinders quite yet. Maybe it’s because the Golden Globes are this weekend (we are so rooting for Downton Abbey to sweep!), but the famous faces and TV titans we’ve become used to seeing were largely absent this week. Luckily, a sighting of Oscar winner and master of the Hollywood universe, George Lucas, more than made up for the dearth of divas. Practically every head in the dining room swiveled in that general direction when he walked to Table One. The force was definitely with him.: (FishbowlNY)


"Last Monday night, the Calvin Klein Collection and Peggy Siegal hosted an intimate invitation-only event in honor of Darren Criss at The Darby here in New York. The evening was co-hosted by Alan Cumming, Parker Posey, Lily Rabe, Andrew Rannells and Jordon Roth, celebrating the Broadway debut of Mr. Criss in 'How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying.'" (NYSocialDiary)

"St. Augustine wrote that all sin springs from ingratitude toward God. I ain’t so sure. God has better things to worry about than my compulsion to lie back and drink Ch√Ęteau Lafite until I pass out. Now that the Spectator’s deputy editor is married, God is not troubled to know that I daily lust after Rebecca Hall, hoping to trap her at some igloo near here and keep her there for the duration. (Rebecca’s physical imperfections are driving me mad with desire.) The mother of my children calls me sick, but I’m healthy as a young horse and almost as randy. The real sin is to abstain from things which give us pleasure. I love eating red meat with French fries and drinking a lot of red wine. I smoke. I chase women, however unsuccessfully of late. What’s a poor man supposed to do, anyway? Live like a monk, eat greens all day, and never go on one’s yacht? To hell with that. One should take as much pride in one’s sins as he does in one’s virtues, but more so. In my experience, people who spend their lives in the innocent pursuit of pleasure—such as filling up their lungs with smoke, eating and drinking to excess, chasing the fairer sex, and betting on the Queen of Diamonds—do not oppress others nor try to make life miserable for them." (Taki)


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