2016 battle lines: Rand Paul vs. the money men

If I were Adelson, and I considered it desperately important to keep one of America’s major parties closer to my hawkishly pro-Israel views, I would simply give a Ted Cruz-aligned super PAC $200 million at the start of the next election and pledge to give it $200 million more should that money be needed. Let Cruz’s money advantage make him the more attractive “populist Tea Party alternative” to the GOP’s establishment candidates. Save a few hundred million more and dangle it in front of every other GOP aspirant but Paul and watch the field unify in their opposition to the Kentucky senator and his libertarian policies. Just make it rain and watch GOP polls contort themselves…

Money can make an unflattering campaign story: “Paul lagging in funds.” And money can amplify that story: Conservatives doubting Paul can overcome money hurdles.

Perhaps the Paul camp would welcome such a unified opposition. After all, it would grant his us-vs-them fundraising campaigns quite a bit of legitimacy. Surely, his grassroots-savvy team could light a few money-bomb campaigns with that. But does even Paul believe that a presidential campaign can run on $100 checks sent in by hepped-up liberty advocates?