January 9, 2012
The newspapers are full of stories about how casino mogul Sheldon Adelson has given $5 million dollars to Newt Gingrich to run attack ads against Mitt Romney, revivifying Newt's campaign.
Is $5 million really headline news in politics these days? I feel very naive about this because I have no clue what the real deal is, but I've long noticed that when I'm reading stories about the political contributions of heavy hitters like Adelson and Haim Saban, the numbers tossed around about their donations don't seem all that staggering. Now, T. Boone Pickens giving $165 million to get Oklahoma State almost into the BCS title game -- that's significant money. But $5 million sounds like what some used car dealer ponies up to get his college football team's weight room refurbished, not the kind of serious moolah that may determine the course of American history. Reading these articles, I feel like I'm in that scene in Austin Powers where Dr. Evil is defrosted after 30 years and threatens to blow up the world if he's not given "One. Million. Dollars!"