The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, and the likeliest explanation is usually the most straightforward and least complex. So when rumors started surfacing last month that Newt Gingrich’s Super PAC sugar daddy Sheldon Adelson was supporting Newt Gingrich in order to hurt Rick Santorum and help Mitt Romney it all sounded like too much 3-dimensional chess to me. Wouldn’t it just make more sense to back Romney? Why risk hurting Romney with negative ads – something that really did happen thanks to Gingrich’s rough-and-tumble South Carolina campaign – when you could use your money to prop up Romney’s campaign?
It doesn’t make sense.
But it’s just one billionaire with an agenda. That doesn’t make him a brilliant political strategist. It’s a fairly basic strategy all told – just point and shoot your money camera and hope something sticks.
The latest conspiracy theory is far more complex. Writing in The Exile, Mark Ames suggests that too many people in one of Ron Paul’s Super PACs have ties to the Huntsman and Romney campaigns for it to be a coincidence. I wrote recently about what I described as Ron Paul’s divide and conquer strategy. The Texas congressman has never attacked Mitt Romney in any of the GOP debates this election season, but he’s gone after just about every other candidate. Ames thinks something more sinister is at play:
Moreover, the SuperPAC’s staff and founders include several former Romney supporters and Huntsman supporters. And one of the founding principals of Endorse Liberty, Ladd Christensen, is something of an oligarch in Utah: Christensen is the longtime business partner of John Huntsman’s billionaire dad. They founded Huntsman Chemicals together, as well as Hunstman-Christensen.
Huntsman endorsed Mitt Romney when he bowed out of the race—in fact, Huntsman has a history of stepping aside for Mitt Romney and playing his second banana, going back at least to the Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002, which John’s billionaire dad helped to fund on behalf of Mitt Romney.
So to repeat: Ron Paul’s SuperPAC is based in Salt Lake City, and one of the founders is Ladd Christensen, John Huntsman’s business partner in Huntsman-Christensen and Huntsman Chemicals.
A couple of quick points. First it’s Jon Huntsman. No “H” in there. Not to nit-pick, but c’mon.