Road to the White House? Mark Zuckerberg hires top Clinton adviser

Gwen Vasquez
August 3, 2017

Joel Benenson, the chief strategist in Clinton's 2016 campaign, is conducting research for Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan's nonprofit, the Zuckerberg-Chan initiative, Politico reported Wednesday. The initiative is dedicating to "advancing human potential and promoting equal opportunity".

Zuckerberg and Chan have devoted a 99 percent of his Facebook shares, an estimated US$45 billion to charity and Benenson's hiring is yet another indication their philanthropic work was gearing towards the political and policy world, according to Politico. Plouffe had previously worked at Uber.

Along with Plouffe, the couple also hired Amy Dudley, former communications adviser to Clinton's running mate Sen.

Rounding out the experienced political staffers is Ken Mehlman, who ran George W. Bush's re-election campaign in 2004.

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If the speculations are true, Zuckerberg would join a laundry list of high-profile people, including celebrities Dwayne Johnson, Kid Rock, and Ron Perlman, who despite having no political experience, have a desire to run for the White House.

Facebook did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comments, which was sent outside regular office hours. He has also toured a Ford assembly plant outside Detroit, a key city in the critical Rust Belt state that Clinton lost to Trump; and Dayton, Ohio, the state long considered an election bellwether.

Talk around Mark Zuckerberg's bid for public office was sparked by his road trip through Iowa. The influx of Facebook cash, however, didn't generate the desired results, and the gift became a nationally-recognized failure of good intentions.

Still, Politico noted, the hiring of Benensen is no confirmation of Zuckerberg's political plans.

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