One-time Republican candidate for the governorship of California and current CEO of Hewlett Packard Meg Whitman yesterday endorsed Hillary Clinton for the office of the presidency. The New York Times reports that in doing so she made sure to emphasize that it was mainly her dislike of Donald Trump that drove her to cross party lines.
"Time and again history has shown that when demagogues have gotten power or come close to getting power, it usually does not end well," the paper quotes Whitman as observing. "I will vote for Hillary, I will talk to my Republican friends about helping her, and I will donate to her campaign and try to raise money for her."
In a telephone interview with the Times, she drove the point home — calling Trump "a dishonest demagogue."
Whitman had telegraphed her disapproval of Trump previously — going so far as to revoke her previous support of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie after he endorsed the Republican nominee in what she called an “astonishing display of political opportunism.”
That Whitman has pledged to bring her considerable financial resources and fundraising connections to the race in favor of Clinton is of no small note — as highlighted by KQED, she spent $144 million of her own money in her failed 2010 campaign against Jerry Brown for governor. In other words, she has demonstrated a history of putting her money where her mouth is.
"As a proud Republican, casting my vote for President has usually been a simple matter," explained Whitman in a statement picked up by ABC 7. "This year is different. To vote Republican out of party loyalty alone would be to endorse a candidacy that I believe has exploited anger, grievance, xenophobia, and racial division."
Whitman is the latest billionaire to get behind Clinton, following the endorsements of Michael Bloomberg and Warren Buffet, and is yet another sign that America's super rich are abandoning a party once viewed as favorable to them. Whether the support, and money, will ultimately make a difference in the campaign is anyone's guess. After all, we know how it turned out for Whitman back in 2010.