Yes, he may be the Anti-Trump, and we'd have to wait for a few years to see the two men potentially go toe-to-toe in an election ring, but Wired is floating the rumor that Mark Zuckerberg has made a few moves in recent weeks and months that suggests he's at least contemplating a run for political office someday. The evidence, also cited by Business Insider, includes Zuck's recent public announcement that he's no longer an atheist and thinks "religion is very important," and his pledge to visit the remaining 30 states he's never visited in 2017, and therefore to have "met people in every state in the US by the end of the year." As Wired puts it, "could this be #positioning?"
Zuck will be old enough, per the Constitution, to be President by 2020 (he'll be 35 in 2019), and the pre-emptive 50-state strategy he's embarking on certainly sounds like something a prospective politician would do.
But with zero experience in politics, would he stand a shot? Oh... right. Of course he would.
Wired also points to a clause in Zuckerberg's majority ownership deal at Facebook, approved by shareholders last June, that quietly allows him to take a leave of absence from the country in order to serve in government without ceding his majority stake in Facebook stock, or without permanently losing control of the company. Intriguing, no?
Wired goes on to consider that Zuckerberg has been practicing politics, in a way, already. "As the CEO of a very large and powerful technology company, Zuckerberg is well-practiced in the art of PR a necessary skill for any politician. And Zuckerberg already promotes many of Facebook’s projects, as well as his own, as taking on issues of public interest everything from the immigration reform lobbying group he backs to Facebook’s ambitious plan to connect the whole world using new wireless antennas, lasers, and satellites."
And really, once you've become one of the youngest billionaires ever and in charge of one of the biggest companies in the world one which was credited/blamed for having an enormous, unprecedented influence in our most recent election where do you go from there?
In related news, Recode has a new piece about Zuckerberg's extraordinarily transparent relationship with his 16,000 employees, and how during weekly meetings broadcast to Facebook's global offices, he reveals lots of confidential details about new products in the works, very little of which ever gets leaked outside the company. It's a culture of openness, and one that feels familial according to one former employee, who says shame is a huge motivator for why there are so few leaks. "People would be pissed if someone else leaked something. You don’t betray the family," the employee said to Recode.
So, if Zuck is starting to plan for a 2020 campaign, some of those employees may be the first to know.
Previously: Mark Zuckerberg's New Year's Resolution: Go To Every State, Attempt Human Engagement