How Sheldon Adelson’s death could affect the GOP’s future

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In the United States, the couple have been a key source of support for the Republican Jewish Coalition, which has remained a close ally of Mr. Trump throughout his turbulent presidency. The Adelsons were among those who helped persuade Mr. Trump to lean into a tough pro-Israel stance, which led to his decision in 2017 to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv – a move that has irritated the Palestinians and led to unrest. across the Middle East after its announcement.

The couple were seated in the front row for the groundbreaking ceremony commemorating the move in May 2018. On that day, Dr. Adelson described Mr. Trump as “the Truman of our time” in an extraordinary editorial on the front page of The Las Vegas Review-Journal, which she and her husband bought in 2016 and used to promote their domestic and foreign policy interests.

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American conservatives have questioned what his absence would mean for the future of relations between Israel and the United States, as Mr. Biden is expected to take a more moderating approach. “We have been steadfast allies of Israel,” said Bradley A. Blakeman, a Republican consultant who served in the George W. Bush administration. “I’m afraid we’ll start playing both sides against the middle again.”

Mr Adelson’s huge spending has changed the contours of battles for the Senate and House in recent years, as have previous Republican presidential nominating contests. In 2012, he funded a super PAC backing Newt Gingrich that bloodied would-be candidate Mitt Romney and gave Mr. Gingrich’s often-exciting campaign a lifespan longer than many thought. But in the general election, the Adelsons invested millions more in another super PAC that aimed to help Romney defeat President Barack Obama.

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For years, leading Republicans have demanded Mr. Adelson’s approval and money. In the 2016 presidential primary, Mr. Trump attacked fellow Republicans for prosecuting Mr. Adelson, especially Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who he said would be the casino mogul’s “perfect little puppet”.

But their relationship with Mr. Trump has evolved over time. Once Mr. Trump became the apparent Republican candidate and the party began to unite around his renegade candidacy, Mr. Adelson agreed to support him and offered him some advice urging him to express more. humility as a candidate.

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After Mr Trump was elected in 2016, Dr Adelson cried for joy over his pledges to support Israel. At a meeting in January 2017 at Trump Tower where Mr. Trump promised to move the embassy to Jerusalem, she exclaimed, “I can’t believe it! and hugged the president-elect, according to a person who witnessed the exchange.

In November 2018, Mr. Trump awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Dr. Adelson. The Adelsons had just spent more than $ 120 million to help the Republicans halfway through.

David M. Halbfinger contributed reporting from Jerusalem.

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