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Tracking militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy

Election Post-Mortem

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FEATURED PROFILES

Sheldon Adelson

Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, an important financial backer of right-wing “pro-Israel” groups in the United States and elsewhere in the world, donated tens of millions of dollars to super PACs supporting the campaigns of numerous Republican candidates, including the Mitt Romney campaign. In every case but one—that of Senator-elect Dean Heller in Nevada—Adelson’s candidate lost.

Rachel Abrams

Neoconservative blogger Rachel Abrams is notorious for her vindictive, hyperbolic rhetoric. After the re-election of President Obama, Abrams directed her invective at fellow Jews in the United States, who voted overwhelming for the president, writing: “We Jews have frequently enjoyed risking our own future in elections … and we’ve successfully done so once again.”

Karl Rove

GOP strategist and super PAC head Karl is renowned for being ruthless in trying to win elections. But after marshaling hundreds of millions of dollars in a failed bid to defeat President Obama and a slate of Democratic legislators—as well as an embarrassing meltdown on Fox News during election night—many observers are wondering whether Rove’s magic has worn off. His effort to explain away the debacle by arguing that Obama has “suppressed the vote” also failed to impress.

American Israel Public Affairs Committee

One of the most influential lobbying groups in Washington, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has been very successful at marshaling bipartisan support for an interventionist U.S. agenda in the Middle East—alongside staunch U.S. support for Israel. Although officially neutral in the 2012 presidential campaign, some observers argued that the group was quietly backing Mitt Romney, in part because of its advocacy of harsher measures against both Iran and Syria. AIPAC and the Romney campaign also shared personal connections: Dan Senor, the Bush spokesperson in Iraq and a key foreign policy adviser to the campaign, is a former AIPAC intern whose sister is the head of the lobby’s Israeli arm.

American Enterprise Institute

Among rightist beltway think tanks, the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute—with its mix of hardline free market advocacy and foreign policy militarism— arguably stood most to gain from a Romney victory. The last Republican occupant of the White House hired some two dozen AEI scholars to serve in high-level posts. Shortly after President Obama was projected to win on election night, AEI’s Michael Barone, who had predicted that Romney would win by a near landslide, penned a subdued commentary, deploring the great divide in the “Two Americas.” “One America listens to Rush Limbaugh,” simplified Barone, “the other to NPR.”

Jennifer Rubin

Jennifer Rubin, a prolific neoconservative blogger for the Washington Post, emerged during the 2012 campaign as an enthusiastic and largely uncritical supporter of the Mitt Romney campaign. “At every opportunity,” wrote the Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf, “Rubin wrote favorably about Romney and his campaign. And she didn't just get things wrong, sometimes absurdly, she always got them wrong in a way that redounded to Team Romney's benefit.


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Featured Profiles

The Foreign Policy Initiative, founded in 2009 by a host of neoconservative figures, was a leading advocate for a militaristic and Israel-centric U.S. foreign policies.


Billionaire investor Paul Singer is the founder and CEO of the Elliott Management Corporation and an important funder of neoconservative causes.


Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is known for his hawkish views on foreign policy and close ties to prominent neoconservatives.


Ron Dermer is the Israeli ambassador to the United States and a close confidante of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.


Blackwater Worldwide founder Erik Prince is notorious for his efforts to expand the use of private military contractors in conflict zones.


U.S. Defense Secretary James “Mad Dog” Mattis is a retired U.S Marine Corps general and combat veteran who served as commander of U.S. Central Command during 2010-2013 before being removed by the Obama administration reportedly because of differences over Iran policy.


Mark Dubowitz, an oft-quoted Iran hawk, is the executive director of the neoconservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies.


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