Politics is full of symbolism -- oftentimes it's nothing but.
But this moment may take the cake. On CNN on Monday minutes before the first presidential debate, a top Trump surrogate literally kissed the hand of a top Republican donor.
The Fix's Peter Stevenson caught it and gif'ed the moment:
That's former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, who has been one of Trump's most reliable cable news TV defenders, kissing the ring of Miriam Adelson, the wife of a conservative Las Vegas casino magnate -- a couple who, with the swipe of their pen, can play a big role in making or breaking a candidate. Few billionaires have taken as much advantage of the Supreme Court's slashing of campaign finance laws as Adelson. The family's millions were credited with keeping Newt Gingrich's 2012 presidential campaign on life support.
And on Monday, they are sitting in one of the front rows for the debate.
The symbolism is even more rich when you consider the space Adelson occupies in the world of presidential politics right now. The couple has stayed out of the presidential primary this year, and they have yet to fully embrace Trump. They're giving more than $40 million to Republican groups helping Republican congressional candidates, but so far, just a fraction -- $5 million -- is slated for Trump.
Of course, if you read coverage by The Washington Post's Matea Gold of how politicians ask for money in the post-Citizens United era (and you definitely should), kissing a ring may not seem that unusual. Here's one behind-the-scenes memo Gold recently uncovered from Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's (R) short-lived presidential campaign earlier this year about Adelson:
“Take Koch’s [sic] money,” Kate Doner, Walker’s fundraising consultant, urged him in September 2011. “Get on a plane to Vegas and sit down with Sheldon Adelson. Ask for $1m now. Corporations. Go heavy after them to give . . . Create a list of legislation that passed and benefits whom.”