Why would you even ask that question?
Next week, Donald Trump will enter his sixth month as President of the United States, straining mightily under the burden of historically low approval numbers and a looming, ever-expanding foreign collusion scandal that remains a constant threat to topple his entire administration. Barring an unprecedented turnaround, the 2020 presidential election promises to be a wide-open contest against an extremely vulnerable incumbent, if he even makes it through the next three and a half years unscathed. In a completely unrelated story, Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg is in the midst of a 30-state road trip in which he hopes to “get out and talk to more people about how they’re living, working and thinking about the future,” just like lots of normal, well-adjusted private citizens who definitely harbor no specific political aspirations frequently do.
Zuckerberg announced his journey of self-discovery in January on (where else?) his Facebook page, and The Wall Street Journal has a delightful dispatch from the road on how his efforts to “meet regular folks” and “understand America”—which he is undertaking exclusively for his own personal growth and not for any other reason—are proceeding. In news that may shock you, it sounds like Mark Zuckerberg might not have this whole “developing connections with humans” thing down quite yet.
[T]here are rules to abide by if you are an ordinary person about to
meet an extraordinary entrepreneur.
As everyone knows, the first step to convincing Joe and Susie America that you’re just like them, really, is crafting some carefully-designed principles for Shaping The Narrative of how that process will unfold.
Rule One: You probably won’t know Mr. Zuckerberg is coming.
This sounds like the working title of a Goosebumps novel.
Rule Two: If you do know he’s coming, keep it to yourself.
Rule Three: Be careful what you reveal about the meeting.
Fun! This anecdote about Zuckerberg’s visit to the Wilton Candy Store, a century-old business that also happens to be, as the WSJ notes for some reason, a “regular stop on Iowa’s presidential campaign circuit,” is particularly instructive.
The three said they were from California on a business trip on their
way to Chicago and asked Mr. McKasson for a tour of the store and its
museum of the history of Wilton, population 2,800. They didn’t tell
their names, he said, and he thought it impolite to ask.
Four days later, the same three people returned to the candy store,
and one of his new customers revealed their true mission: “Mark
Zuckerberg will be here in five minutes.”
These people talk about Mark Zuckerberg like they’re henchmen in a Martin Scorsese gangster epic announcing the imminent arrival of Jack Nicholson’s character at some run-down bar in Southie.
A startled Mr. McKasson, 54, asked: “What do I need to do?” he
recalled, and was told: “Nothing.”
You are powerless to stop this totally organic interaction, Mr. McKasson.
Mr. Zuckerberg walked through the red-and-white store door. He ordered
a $5.75 chocolate malt. An assistant paid the world’s fifth-richest
man’s tab with a debit card.
See! Mark Zuckerberg has a PIN number, just like you and me and every other American citizen who happens to have the right to cast their ballot for President of the United States exactly 1,210 days from now! Later, after Zuckerberg visited Wilton’s town hall:
[The mayor and city administrator] were asked not to tell anyone Mr.
Zuckerberg was coming. Mr. Ball said Mr. Zuckerberg’s representatives
instructed them not to relay verbatim quotes from their discussions
with him if asked by reporters.
“They asked me not to quote what Mr. Zuckerberg said,” Mr. Ball said.
“They said to refer people to their press guys.”
The billionaire’s travels have also reportedly taken him to Minnesota, where he attended an Iftar dinner with Somalian refugees and visited a youth hockey facility; the Mississippi Delta, where he dropped in on a renowned blues club and anonymously bankrolled a concert; and to the prized swing state of Ohio, where he dined in the home of an Democratic union steelworker who had volunteered for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign last year. As Zuckerberg left dinner—which his entourage had catered from a local restaurant, because he has manners, and also because, by the way, he has always been a big supporter of America’s vibrant small business communities—he had only one request for his hosts.
“If there are any news reporters that call you, just make sure you
tell them I’m not running for president.”
Okay, but why would they ever ask that?
The Trumps Confess to Conspiracy
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