Adelson's $53 million 'investment' wasn't a total bust
The real lesson of money and politics: It pays to have a friend in Washington, even if that friend comes at a high price.
Having even a single elected official on your side isn't just a good thing. It has the potential to be stupendously awesome. Heller can now go to bat for Adelson in battles large and small with the federal bureaucracy. Adelson, who in addition to being a political donor is a major Nevada employer, needs all the "friends" he can get in Washington as his company faces a criminal investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice for its business practices in Macao.
Since nothing gets done in the Senate without a filibuster-proof majority of 60 votes, individual members have a tremendous amount of power. Senators can put anonymous holds on bills, effectively killing them, and ensure that the public never learns who is responsible for the action. Heller can also filibuster Presidential appointments and fight for policies, such as those toward Israel, that Adelson supports.
There are limits to what Adelson can get from his "investment" in politics. Though money may buy TV commercials, advisers and public relations rainmakers, it can't make voters like people who are otherwise not very likeable. Voters don't hire a president, they elect him. If Americans picked their leaders the same way that a board of directors choose a CEO, Mitt Romney would be the next president because -- at least on paper -- he is one of the most qualified people ever to compete to be the leader of the Free World. But the former Massachusetts governor was never able to shake the perception that he would say or do anything to be president.
No amount of money from Adelson or the Koch Brothers or Obama's many critics on Wall Street could transform Romney into someone who could inspire the average American to make their country a better place. Some may argue that Obama failed that test as well, but he managed to do a good enough job to gain a clear and decisive victory over Romney.
--Jonathan Berr does not own shares of the listed stocks. Follow him on Twitter@jdberr.
More from MSN Money
- Make way for messy budget talks
- Play the selloff with Whole Foods
- Netflix's secret strength? Prime-time viewing
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
Breaking up big banks is an untested solution to the too big to fail problem that attempts to isolate and dismantle large, troubled institutions while protecting the rest of the economy.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market ended the Wednesday session on a mixed note with small caps displaying relative strength. The Nasdaq Composite (+0.5%) and Russell 2000 (+0.4%) registered modest gains, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (-0.2%) and S&P 500 (+0.01%) underperformed.
Despite the mixed finish, the key indices traded higher across the board at the start of the session after the advance reading of second quarter GDP surpassed estimates (4.0% versus Briefing.com ... More
More Market News
|There’s a problem getting this information right now. Please try again later.|
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'