The true leader of the Republican Party isn’t its loose-lipped chairman, Michael Steele, nor the dour Mitch McConnell, distracted John McCain, or disinterested Bushes; it’s Roger Ailes. “The president of Fox is, by default, the closest thing there is to a kingmaker in Anti-Obama America,” writes self-declared Ailes “frenemy” Howard Fineman for Newsweek. Which is a bit ironic, he says, because Ailes doesn’t really care about political power.
Ailes may be hiring presidential contenders left and right, and he put the "party" in "tea party" but it’s all just part of his “relentless (and spectacularly successful) hunt for cable ratings," writes Fineman. He can’t stand most politicians, not even the ones he employs, and never consults the party’s nominal leadership. This is about profits, not policy. “But if politics is a nonstop talk show, being the head booker means you are the boss.”