According to Politico, Miriam Adelson, the widow of billionaire mega-GOP supporter Sheldon Adelson, is reopening the checkbook following her husband’s death in order to continue his work and assist conservative causes and candidates.
Adelson is reportedly meeting with Republican Party bigwigs ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, after a period of mourning during which she retreated from public view, and is willing to continue the multi-million-dollar stream of donations to the GOP that she and her husband made over the past decade.
Republican megadonor Miriam Adelson — the widow of casino mogul and longtime GOP kingmaker Sheldon Adelson — is staging a return to politics, positioning herself to be a force in the 2022 midterms and beyond https://t.co/JwpV6MfPcF
— POLITICO (@politico) November 7, 2021
Politico reports that GOP leaders such as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) have been courting Adelson, who has a fortune estimated at $30 billion, and that list has grown even longer as potential challengers to Donald Trump as both the party’s face and the GOP presidential nominee in 2024 are making the pilgrimage to Las Vegas to “kiss the ring.”
Alex Isenstadt of Politico reports, “…the list of figures Adelson met with this week included House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and National Republican Senatorial Committee Chair Rick Scott, who are helping to guide the party’s midterm efforts. She also huddled with a group of Republicans regarded as potential presidential hopefuls in 2024: former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, Vice President Mike Pence, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.”
He cites Adelson’s history of giving large cheques that may make or break a candidacy as the reason.
‘The ring-kissing exemplifies Adelson’s unrivaled clout among megadonors.’ Adelson and her husband have routinely cut seven- and eight-figure contributions that have the capacity to make or break Republican politicians over the last two decades. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan research agency that records political giving, the Adelsons were the top donors to federal candidates and super PACs in three of the last five elections,” Isenstadt noted. “During last year’s campaign, the couple gave more than $91 million to bolster former President Donald Trump’s reelection effort, making them Trump’s biggest financial backer.”
She’s kept in touch with other key Republican figures behind the scenes. She has spoken with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell multiple times this year, and she recently received a phone call from Trump.
“Miriam is a wonderful woman who her husband loved greatly and, at the same time, respected for her great intelligence. He was very proud of her and she was very proud of him. She will carry on his legacy beautifully,” Trump said in a statement.
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) November 7, 2021
While Sheldon Adelson has gotten the majority of the attention over the years, many close to the couple say Miriam Adelson was a quiet force behind their political and business decisions.
Miriam Adelson, a physician who runs a drug recovery center, shared her husband’s hardline foreign policy views and unwavering support for Israel. Miriam Adelson, who had been married to her husband for 30 years, also assisted in the coordination of their political contributions: The fact that the husband-and-wife team frequently split their donations 50-50 is no accident, according to the family’s lieutenants.
— Forbes (@Forbes) November 6, 2021
“She was the power behind the throne. Sheldon never did anything without Miriam. She was always at his side. She drove a lot of his initiatives,” said Houston-based Republican donor Fred Zeidman, a longtime Adelson family friend who attended the RJC conference. “They were inseparable.”
With the exception of a Saturday evening appearance at a tribute for her husband, Miriam Adelson was virtually absent from the gathering.
— MINDF©️K (@gal_suburban) November 7, 2021
Adelson’s representatives were inundated with requests from candidates desperate for face time with her in the weeks preceding up to the conference, but many were turned down. Andy Abboud, the Adelson family’s longstanding political gatekeeper, met separately with several key Republicans who’d traveled to Las Vegas.
The Republican Jewish Coalition’s weekend conference served as a reminder of the Adelsons’ continued hold on the party. In their remarks, a number of potential 2024 candidates mentioned Sheldon Adelson, who was 87 years old at the time of his death. Trump did not attend the event in person, but he did record a video in which he praised the couple.
Cruz joked about comparing Sheldon Adelson to Cher, Madonna, and Prince as soon as he took the stage.
“It says something,” Cruz quipped, “that he became a one-word name.”