Facebook founder and business celebrity Mark Zuckerberg will be hosting a high-profile fundraiser at his Palo Alto home for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a.k.a “The Boss.” The two allegedly became political BFFs after appearing on Oprah together with Newark Mayor, Cory Booker, who received an extraordinary $100M donation from Zuckerberg to improve the city’s schools. The fundraiser is especially notable since Christie has gone on some some epic rants against his own party, meaning that the fundraiser is not a clear win for the Republican establishment as a whole, which historically hasn’t gotten much financial love from Silicon Valley.
Facebook spokeswoman Sarah Feinberg explained to Buzzfeed:
Mark and [his wife] Priscilla have worked closely with Gov. Christie on education reform in the Newark school system. They admire his leadership on education reform and other issues and look forward to continuing their important work together on behalf of Newark’s school children. Mark and Priscilla are happy to host him at their home to support his re-election.
The Bay Area contributed more than the geographic areas of Hollywood and Wall Street, with noted supporters such as Google Chairman, Eric Schmidt. Top-tier web talent have also largely favored Democrats, giving them an important digital edge. Our own Facebook expert, Josh Constine, noticed that when Obama spoke at Facebook headquarters a few years back, employees gave big cheers for his policy stances, but fell silent or even jeered when he mentioned republicans.
Zuckerberg’s support for Christie is notable, since he hasn’t been afraid to fiercely criticize his own party. After Congress initially failed ratify aid to victims of Hurricane Sandy, Christie went ballistic, “There is only one group to blame for the continued suffering of these innocent victims: the House majority and their speaker John Boehner,” he said, “For me, it was disappointing and disgusting to watch.”
The press conference had so much political force, he nearly caused a last-minute coup to overthrow House Speaker Boehner. Politicians criticize their own parties all the time, but Christie’s veracity was unique, and so was the huge popularity boost he got as a result.
As Republicans scramble to find their way back into power, it appears that members who aren’t afraid to be outspoken critics of their own party may emerge as leaders.