by Michael Krieger, Liberty Blitzkrieg:
At this point, I’ve seen enough. It’s becoming quite clear that Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg wants to be President of these United States.
The topic first piqued my interest about a week ago when I read an article published at Vanity Fair titled, Will Mark Zuckerberg be Our Next President?
Increasingly, a number of influential people in Silicon Valley seem to think that Mark Zuckerberg will likely run for president of the United States one day. And some people, including myself, believe that he could indeed win. “He wants to be emperor” is a phrase that has become common among people who have known him over the years.
We’ll get to my theory on what that means a little later. First, let’s zip through the myriad indications that he might choose to throw his hoodie into the ring. Last year’s Facebook proxy statement articulated that Zuckerberg can run for office and still maintain control of his company. (To this end, Trump’s controversial precedent may facilitate any thorny political complications regarding the matter.) Then, over the holidays, Zuckerberg responded to a question about being an atheist, a belief he once professed, with a decidedly more politically circumspect answer: “I was raised Jewish and then I went through a period where I questioned things, but now I believe religion is very important.” (No one likes a president who doesn’t believe in some sort of God.) More recently, President Obama’s former campaign manager, David Plouffe, joined the philanthropic Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, to lead policy and advocacy. Other politicians from both parties have also joined the organization. And then there was the most obvious intimation: earlier this year, Zuckerberg, who has a habit of posting his annual New Year’s resolution on his Facebook page, declared that after conquering the previous challenges of learning Mandarin, and building an artificial-intelligence butler for his home, this year he was going to meet “people in every state in the US.” He noted that he’s “spent significant time in many states already, so I’ll need to travel to about 30 states this year to complete this challenge.” I wonder how many of those states are swing states?
If he does want the job, Zuckerberg definitely has the personality for it. When Facebook went public in 2012, I co-authored a profile of the young C.E.O. During the reporting, I heard from several friends about his penchant for playing world-conquering board and video games. Early childhood pals told me that one of Zuckerberg’s favorite video games as a boy was Civilization, the game in which you have to “build an empire to stand the test of time.” Others have told me that, to this day, Zuckerberg loves to play Risk, a strategy board game where you have to essentially take over the world. Believe it or not, he ended up applying some of these theories while forging and managing the extraordinary growth of Facebook, organizing his product teams in similar ways to his battalions in the board games. (According to someone close to him, these days Zuckerberg loves Game of Thrones and enjoys cooking a meat-laden “Dothraki Feast” while watching Westeros fall in and out of anarchy.)
Then, this morning, I came across the following tweets.
Zuck straight up delivering stump speeches on his Facebook page now pic.twitter.com/U5R9VB8Hk6
— Alex Kantrowitz (@Kantrowitz) January 19, 2017
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