So in the latest installment of what has become known as the “Adelson primary”–the competition to see which, if any, of the 2016 Republican presidential wannabes will receive the kind of financial backing from global casino magnate Sheldon Adelson that kept Newt Gingrich in the race for so long in 2012–ol’ Sheldon has thrown everybody a curve-ball, according to a report from Julie Bykowicz of Bloomberg Politics:

Now that Mitt Romney’s no longer running for president, billionaire casino owner Sheldon Adelson is happy to have him over for dinner. The Republican Jewish Coalition, to which Adelson is a top donor, on Wednesday announced the lineup of speakers for its spring meeting; Romney has the coveted VIP dinner slot.

What a waste, eh? I’m sure that’s the conclusion reached by Ted Cruz, Rick Perry and Mike Pence, potential 2016 candidates who will be there for the RJC meeting but didn’t get the prime speaking slot. But perhaps the real action will take place in private, as each would-be president is personally vetted by the guy who could bankroll a campaign for a good while with his petty cash account. And maybe Adelson is just enjoying the groveling.

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Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.