Sunday morning Hagel


The New York Times reports on the secretive groups funding much of the effort to keep Chuck Hagel from Senate confirmation as defense secretary.

I’d heard from a single source a couple of weeks ago about Sheldon Adelson’s outreach to senators pressing them to vote against:

The biggest individual financier of the so-called super PACs that sought to defeat Mr. Obama, Sheldon Adelson, is so invested in the fight over Mr. Hagel that he has reached out directly to Republican Senators to urge them to hold the line against his confirmation, which would be almost impossible to stop against six Republican “yes” votes and a unified Democratic caucus.

Given the more than $100 million he donated to the anti-Obama effort last year, no lawmakers need to be reminded of his importance to their future endeavors. People briefed on his involvement said Mr. Adelson, chairman of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation and a longtime supporter of Israel, was calling in conjunction with the Republican Jewish Coalition, a group he has financed for several years.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal in December, Mr. Adelson said he was prepared to “double” his investment in politics in the coming year.

But it is unclear whether he is directly financing any of the anti-Hagel advertising. An associate of his, speaking about Mr. Adelson’s thinking on condition of anonymity, said he did not believe that expensive television campaigns are the answer to every political push given that Mr. Obama’s re-election team accomplished so much of its success through online and volunteer efforts.

I didn’t report it then — I was unable to confirm it with more than one source — but now that this is out, I can add a wrinkle. My source said Adelson is focusing particularly on GOP senators up for reelection in 2014.

Speaking of subtle…

Politico’s Matt Wuerker (h/t Steve Clemons) takes on the "You calling me intimidating? You calling me intimidating?" tactics of some pro-Israel groups:

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