Early this summer we reported on speculation that Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg might be prepping a clandestine run for the White House in 2020.
This week that speculation just got boosted after Zuckerberg hired Joel Benenson, former pollster for Hillary Clinton.
Benenson joins David Plouffe, Obama’s 2008 campaign manager, as an advisor on Zuckerberg’s philanthropic operation called the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.
If this is looking a bit familiar, it should.
It’s roughly the same model Hillary used via the Clinton Foundation to peddle financial favors ahead of a White House bid which she insisted, like Zuckerberg, she wasn’t interested in.
At 33, Zuckerberg would be the youngest (legitimate) presidential candidate in history, barely qualifying for the constitutional age of 35 by election day.
Here’s more from Politico…
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, have hired Democratic pollster Joel Benenson, a former top adviser to President Barack Obama and the chief strategist to Hillary Clinton’s failed 2016 presidential campaign, as a consultant, according to a person familiar with the hire.
Benenson’s company, Benenson Strategy Group, will be conducting research for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the couple’s philanthropy. The organization — whose mission statement, according to its website, is “advancing human potential and promoting equality” — is endowed with the couple’s Facebook fortune.
Zuckerberg and Chan have vowed to give away 99 percent of their Facebook shares, worth an estimated $45 billion, to charity. Bringing on Benenson is the latest sign that they’re pushing their philanthropic work more heavily into the political and policy world.
In January, the couple hired David Plouffe, campaign manager for Obama’s 2008 presidential run, as president of policy and advocacy. Plouffe had previously worked at Uber. Ken Mehlman, who ran President George W. Bush’s 2004 reelection campaign, also sits on the board.
And earlier this year, the couple also brought on Amy Dudley, a former communications adviser to Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine.