Sunday, April 22, 2012

Frank Rich: "Sugar Daddies-The old, white, rich men who are buying this election."

(Photo: Top row, from left, Boz Ratner/AP; Rick Maiman/Bloomberg/Getty Images; Tom Fox/Dallas Morning News/Corbis. Middle row, from left, Rob Sachs/AP; Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg/Getty Images; Patrick McMullan. Bottom row, from left, John Miller/AP; Melissa Phillip/Houston Chronicle/AP; Jim Spellman/WireImage/Getty Images. Photo-Illustration by Darrow.)

Frank Rich (New York):
If you want to appreciate what Barack Obama is up against in 2012, forget about the front man who is his nominal opponent and look instead at the Republican billionaires buying the ammunition for the battles ahead. A representative example is Harold Simmons, an 80-year-old Texan who dumped some $15 million into the campaign before primary season had ended. Reminiscing about 2008, when he bankrolled an ad blitz to tar the Democrats with the former radical Bill Ayers, Simmons told The Wall Street Journal, “If we had run more ads, we could have killed Obama.” It is not a mistake he intends to make a second time. The $15 million Simmons had spent by late February dwarfs the $2.8 million he allotted to the Ayers takedown and the $3 million he contributed to the Swift Boat Veterans demolition of John Kerry four years before that. Imagine the cash that will flow now that the GOP sideshows are over and the president is firmly in Simmons’s crosshairs. MORE...

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