I wrote earlier about Sheldon Adelson, Newt Gingrich's personal billionaire — sorry, I said that backwards. Let's start again.
I wrote earlier about Newt Gingrich, billionaire Sheldon Adelson's personal candidate. This is about Foster Friess, the man who totes similar freight for Rick Santorum (or maybe that's backwards too, and Santorum totes his freight).
This Rachel Maddow clip is excellent, an introduction to the man who wants to call Santorum's shots. How important is Santorum's billionaire? The graph below shows Santorum's Iowa fundraising, next to his billionaire's fundraising for him. I would say critically important.
Watch (click to open the clip in a new tab):
Very nice report. When Maddow covers stuff like this, there's no one better.
Notice that when Friess doesn't get the handshake (first part of clip), he doesn't seem to feel dissed. Maddow explains:
You can imagine one of Santorum's accountants telling him, "Do not be photographed shaking the hand of your billionaire."Heck, if I owned a candidate, I'd low-key it in public as well. The real pipe gets swung behind closed doors anyway. Later she says (3:18):
This is the Citizens United world we are living in. You don't need campaign donors any more. You need a donor.And apparently one donor is basically all Rick Santorum has (unless the Catholic Bishops® have a SuperPAC). Check the graph of Santorum fundraising at 5:15 — he's the red line lying like a snake on the X-axis.
Maddow calls this an "Anyone with a billionaire can play" situation (7:11). Why not cut out the middle man and call it simply — "Any billionaire can play." All you need is a front-end pretty face and a pile of checks.
Pretty face; billionaire "sponsor" ... I think I'm going to call this the "Who's Your Daddy?"® election. Tag line good till it's no longer true.
Bonus for those who stay — or skip — to the end of the Pawlenty interview and listen to the governor's attempted (and improvised) insult of Maddow.
Doesn't work, but he tried. Guess all that "manliness" fun she had with his image (do click) didn't feel like that much fun to someone.