The deepening scandal around accused child sex predator Roy Moore has shown the limitations of once-feared former White House adviser Steve Bannon’s power in Washington, said The Washington Post on Saturday.
Moore is the flagship candidate for Bannon’s purported war on establishment Republicans in which the Breitbart.com CEO promised to reshape the GOP and drive out anyone who is deemed to be insufficiently ideologically pure.
However, his inability to turn around the Moore debacle and the increasing likelihood that a Democrat will represent Alabama in the U.S. Senate has shown that the only person in Washington who still believes in Bannon’s reputation as a far-right kingmaker is Bannon.
“He’s scaring a lot of people with these tactics, but I haven’t seen anything to suggest he’s going to have the financial backing he needs,” said one Bannon associate to the Post.
“I don’t know a single major donor who’s interested in funding this,” said GOP strategist Josh Holmes, who dismissed Bannon’s outsider campaigns — which include former Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY), who recently completed a sentence for felony tax evasion — as a “vanity project.”
Billionaire donors Sheldon Adelson and Robert Mercer have both publicly washed their hands of Bannon. Even Bannon’s allies are privately expressing skepticism that he will be able to fulfill his grandiose ambitions, which include targeting races in Wisconsin, Mississippi, Utah and Wyoming.
One GOP consultant told the Post that no matter what the outcome of the Alabama race turns out to be, Bannon will be forever tainted by the association with a child rapist and the stink of failure.
“The smell of Alabama, he’s just not going to be able to escape it,” said the source. “Pretty soon, it’s just a confused delusional guy at his desk.”