Playtime’s over. This week’s roundup of new Congressional and Senate super PACs includes big spenders and big names, like former Newt Gingrich benefactor Sheldon Adelson; Harold Simmons, one of this election cycle’s top donors; a key financier of Jon Huntsman’s presidential super PAC; and Citizens United lawyer James Bopp. Freedom PAC Supports Rep. Connie Mack (R), Florida U.S. Senate candidate Freedom PAC hadn’t even existed for two weeks before it dumped a moderate $50,000 into ads for Florida Senate hopeful Connie Mack. And there’s plenty more where that came from.
“At an age when most young men are focused on playing sports and meeting girls, Newt was fantasizing about saving the world.” —Steven M. Gillon, The Pact, 2008 Despite Newt Gingrich’s best efforts, it looks like the world is going to have to save itself. A humiliating third-place finish in Saturday’s Louisiana primary should have extinguished the last embers of Gingrich’s wildfire dream of a second-ballot victory at the GOP Convention. Any Newtonian fantasy about stopping Mitt Romney in Tampa requires the former House speaker to continue to accumulate convention delegates.
Two quick thoughts about the Florida debate. First, while it was generally too flat and plodding to change any momentum, I think Romney learned something important tonight: He learned that he can provoke Gingrich into spouting all manner of nonsense—what a certain former House Speaker once called “pious baloney”—pretty much at will, just by pressing Newt on his influence-peddling days. No doubt the lobbying/Freddie Mac albatross will continue to weigh down Gingrich, just like the tax-return issue dogged Romney.