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Super Tuesday's Big Winner Is Already Settled | The Nation

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Katrina vanden Heuvel

Katrina vanden Heuvel

Politics, current affairs and riffs and reflections on the news.

Super Tuesday's Big Winner Is Already Settled

Editor’s Note: Each week we cross-post an excerpt from Katrina vanden Heuvel’s column at the WashingtonPost.com. Read the full text of Katrina’s column here.

The polls haven’t closed, but here’s one thing we already know: The big winners of Super Tuesday are the super PACs and big-money politics. In the run-up to Tuesday’s vote, the super PACs’ farcically described “independent expenditures” were far greater than the spending of the candidates’ campaigns.

A Las Vegas billionaire single-handedly has kept Newt Gingrich in the race. Mitt Romney’s “vulture capitalist” biography may raise doubts in some voters’ minds, but it has helped him sweep the money primary. And while Romney has found it hard to win significant support from Republican voters, his “independent” super PAC—Restore Our Future—has used that dough to carpet-bomb with negative ads any opponent who has risen to challenge him.

The supposed “independence” of the super PACs reaches barely a legal fiction. Former aides or fundraisers run the entities. The campaigns alert donors as to which “independent” entity is designated for support. President Obama is delegating Cabinet and White House officials to attend fundraisers for Priorities USA Action, his “independent” super PAC. His 2008 campaign director, David Plouffe, now coordinating messaging in the White House, is out helping to raise the money.

Editor’s Note: Each week we cross-post an excerpt from Katrina vanden Heuvel’s column at the WashingtonPost.com. Read the full text of Katrina’s column here.

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