How Jeb Bush lost the Sheldon Adelson primary

The bad blood between Bush and Adelson is relatively recent, and it deepened with the news that former secretary of state James Baker, a member of Bush’s foreign-policy advisory team, was set to address J Street, a left-wing pro-Israel organization founded to serve as the antithesis to the hawkish American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

J Street has routinely staked out liberal views anathema to those held by Adelson and his allies. Adelson sent word to Bush’s camp in Miami: Bush, he said, should tell Baker to cancel the speech. When Bush refused, a source describes Adelson as “rips***”; another says Adelson sent word that the move cost the Florida governor “a lot of money.” 

Adelson has long pressed political candidates to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and to pardon Jonathan Pollard, who was convicted of spying for Israel in 1987 and remains behind bars. Gingrich, for one, pledged to move the embassy, while many, including Mitt Romney, have been non-committal on Pollard’s case.