Daily Kickoff

Daily Kickoff: Two votes to watch today — Who will the Adelsons caucus for? | Trump: ‘I have so many Jewish friends’ | Drake performs at Bat Mitzvah

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DRIVING THE CONVERSATION: “Sheldon Adelson and the missing $100 million” by Kenneth Vogel and Isaac Arnsdorf: “According to a dozen donors and operatives who have spoken recently to Adelson or his representatives, the 82-year-old Las Vegas casino mogul hasn’t donated during this election cycle to several of the conservative political groups that have been regular recipients of his largesse.. While Adelson, whose political involvement is largely animated by his support for Israel’s defense, is thought to distrust Trump on the issue, an Adelson adviser suggested his boss had no plans to spend big on behalf of — or against — any candidate in the tumultuous GOP primary. “I don’t see any involvement until there is a nominee,” the adviser told Politico.” [Politico]

“Where is Republican billionaire ‘kingmaker’ Sheldon Adelson?” by Chris McGreal: “Jon Ralston, an analyst and the host of a political television show in Las Vegas, said Adelson is taking a more considered approach to this election. “His support for Gingrich was personal. They go back to the 90s. This year he wants to be with someone who can win a general. He likes Rubio, but he wants to see if Rubio can win,” he said.” [TheGuardian• “We Need to Talk About Sheldon” [Gawker]

“Two Votes to Watch at Nevada Caucuses: Sheldon Adelson and His Wife” by Alexandra Berzon: “Mr. Adelson, preoccupied with business matters, hasn’t been meeting with the candidates fanning out across the Silver State to drive turnout for the caucuses, a person familiar with his plans said. He and his wife are still hoping to attend a caucus, where they would publicly declare their support.”

Aboard his campaign plane Monday night, Mr. Rubio said he speaks regularly with Mr. Adelson but won’t meet with him during his Nevada campaign swing. “We talk to him quite a bit on the phone and different things like that,” Mr. Rubio said Monday. “I won’t see him tonight or tomorrow, but we’ve got a longstanding relationship and friendship. And I’m sure we’ll continue to communicate. He’s interested in politics beyond southern Nevada.” [WSJ]

“Rubio inherits establishment support but is on a narrow path to stop Trump” by Sean Sullivan: “Phil Rosen, a New York lawyer who is a major Republican fundraiser, said he has spent the past two days on the phone with former Bush donors who are eager to join the Rubio effort. “They have a lot of disappointment about Jeb, but they are ready to put full steam ahead for Marco,” said Rosen, who said he has gotten commitments from 15 top Bush bundlers. “I am going to continue to reach out to literally every person that was on the Bush campaign,” he said.” [WashPost]

“Big names filling Ron Johnson’s, Russ Feingold’s coffers” by Bill Glauber and Daniel Bice: “In the last three months of 2015, Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson received campaign checks from likes of Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam, who together gave the maximum of $10,800… Johnson’s Democratic challenger, Russ Feingold, landed a $1,000 contribution from Nebraska’s Chuck Hagel, a former GOP senator who served as President Barack Obama’s defense secretary, and $2,700 from billionaire Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry.” [JSonline]

HEARD LAST NIGHT — Trump asked by Hannity how to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon: “Well, one thing you have to do – you have to rely on Israel a little bit because they know more what is going on over there than we know. You know — I have so many friends, Jewish friends, and they have supported Obama, and they are so disgusted. They can’t understand what happened; what went wrong. I think that President Obama has been the worst thing that has ever happened to Israel — the worst thing. I don’t understand it. And Netanyahu — a good guy. I’ve never seen. He was so stressed. He couldn’t — he couldn’t make his point. And even the fact — look, having nuclear deals is a good thing, not a bad thing, But you want to make good nuclear deals, not horrible deals.”

Hannity: “You said you would be neutral in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but you said Israel is the victim in this?” Trump: “Yes. I am a great friend of Israel. I was the Grand Marshal of the Israeli Day Parade… I have so many friends. In fact one of them, one of my great friends — where is Jared, my son-in-law? Where is he? My son-in-law is Jewish, and he’s fantastic — a very successful guy in the New York real estate. And Ivanka is going to have a baby in the next week or so. So, there is nobody closer — and Bibi Netanyahu asked me to do a commercial for him, for his campaign. I did a commercial for him. But I think what you want to do is the ultimate deal – you make a deal between Israel and the Palestinians if we could do that.” [JewishInsider]

Aaron David Miller: “Donald Trump and the Art of the Mideast Peace Deal” [WSJ]

Shmuel Rosner: “Not to worry: Trump will not be ‘neutral’ on Israel” [JewishJournal]

New WikiLeaks — “Intercepted communication between Italian PM Berlusconi and Israeli PM Netanyahu show that Berlusconi promised to assist helping Israel in mending damaged relationship with the U.S.” [WikiLeaksTheIntercept]

LongRead — David Horovitz interviews Malcolm Hoenlein: “For 30 years, Malcolm Hoenlein has run the American Jewish community’s most influential organization. He meets with presidents and prime ministers, security chiefs and business leaders, kings and princes. In a rare, lengthy and outspoken interview, he sets out his world view.” [ToI]

“Israel Is Beginning to Eat Its Own” by Amos Harel: “An unrelenting wave of Palestinian violence has Israeli leaders at each other’s throats — and it’s going to get even uglier.” [ForeignPolicy]

“The Next War Between Israel and Hamas May Be Fought Underground” by Kate Shuttleworth: “Heavy machinery and engineering equipment were lined up along Israel’s border with Gaza when TIME visited recently. While the Israeli army won’t confirm what is being done with the equipment, military spokesman Peter Lerner confirmed that army has 100 engineering devices “carrying out various activities along the border to reveal and expose tunnels.” [TimeMag] • “Israel Made a Kamikaze Quadcopter from Hell” [PopularMechanics]

**Good Tuesday Morning! Enjoying the Daily Kickoff? Please share us with your friends & tell them to sign up at [JI].  Have a tip, scoop, or op-ed? We’d love to hear from you. Anything from hard news and punditry to the lighter stuff, including event coverage, job transitions, or even special birthdays, is much appreciated. Email editor@jewishinsider.com**

BUSINESS BRIEFS: “Oracle Signs Deal to Acquire Israeli Cloud Firm For Between $400-500M” [WSJVentureBeat• “Team8 Israeli Cyber Security Group Grabs $23 Million Series B” [TechCrunch] • “Josh Kushner’s Oscar Health Gets $400 Million And A $2.7 Billion Valuation from Fidelity” [Forbes] • “Mark Suster On Falling Valuations And LA’s Tech Scene” [TechCrunch] • “Ari Bousbib’s IMS Health adds 4,800 jobs” [NewsTimes] • “Slack founder Stewart Butterfield seems surprised by its runaway success” [LATimes] • “Mystery PAC funds ads against proposed convention center hotel” [MiamiHerald• “A mansion in Ft. Lauderdale features a mini synagogue. Rabbi not included” [TabletMag]

SPOTLIGHT: “Lawyer and Avid Collector to Sell Some of His Judaica” by Ralph Gardner Jr: “Twenty-eight items from Alan Dershowitz’s collection of Judaica are going on the auction block March 1. They include a 1935 painting of a yeshiva student by Emmanuel Mane-Katz, who was affiliated with the art movement known as the Jewish School of Paris. It carries an auction estimate of $25,000 to $35,000. “I was a yeshiva student at that age,” explained Mr. Dershowitz, who attended Yeshiva University High School in Brooklyn. “It had significance. You have to make choices.” [WSJ]

ATTENDING SXSW? “Join Tech Tribe for our annual #openShabbat celebration. Escape the chaos of SXSW and find a taste of home at the ultimate un-networking event. Meet new people and catch up with friends while enjoying kosher food, song and plenty of l’chaim!” [eJewishPhilEventBrite]

“Jewish Museum’s Purim Ball Honors Mizrahi” by Marshall Heyman: “On Wednesday, at the Park Avenue Armory, the Jewish Museum will hold its annual Purim Ball. This year honors the fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi, who will also be the subject of an exhibition at the museum starting in mid March. Mr. Mizrahi’s friend, the comedian Sandra Bernhard, will be retelling the Purim story at Wednesday’s party in what is traditionally called a “Purim Spiel.” [WSJ]

PAGE SIX: “Drake performs at lavish Bat Mitzvah” by Julie Gordon: “Drake performed at a lavish Bat Mitzvah party at the iconic Rainbow Room on Saturday night, singing a handful of his hits for a decked-out crowd of tweens and teens. The girl of honor was Gigi Ashkenazy, daughter of real estate big Ben Ashkenazy, whose firm owns addresses including The Marriott New York East Side.” [NYPostTMZ]

BIRTHDAYS: Michael Dell turns 51… Texas Tribune reporter Patrick Svitek… Pollster Frank Luntz turns 54 (see Forward profile on Jewish identity)… Gidon Feed, former Hillary Iowa Fellow and now with the Podesta Group in office of the chairman… Actor Josh Gad turns 35… AIPAC alum Reuben A. Engber…

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