Happy Wednesday and welcome back to The Best & The Brightest. Teddy Schleifer here, filling in for Tina Nguyen. As a reminder, I write about money in politics, and the world of major donors, so if you’re interested in the intersection of Silicon Valley and Wall Street with D.C., you should sign up for my once-a-week email, The Stratosphere, right here.
It’s already been a big week for crossover reportage at Puck: if you haven’t already, go check out Dylan Byers’ latest, provocative look at the fallout inside CNN after the network’s town hall with Trump (including a tense confrontation between CNN boss Chris Licht and Oliver Darcy after Darcy wrote critically about the event). And don’t miss Eriq Gardner’s counterintuitive analysis of Sam Bankman-Fried’s emerging legal defense, in which his lawyers are arguing, essentially, what is fraud, anyway? You can sign up for all of it by adjusting your email settings here.
Today, a look at Bernie Marcus, the Republican mega-donor who spent millions of dollars to elect Trump, and supported him again in 2020, but now may be souring on him for round three. Marcus, I argue, is something of a bellwether for whether the MAGA billionaire base is going to stick around in 2024—or instead flock to Ron DeSantis. Read on for Marcus’s first public, on-the-record comments about who he’s planning to support…
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|Bernie Marcus, the co-founder of Home Depot, turned 94 years old last week. He can’t golf anymore, after experiencing some health scares, but friends say he is still as compos mentis as he was during the last decade of Republican politics, when the multi-billionaire made a name for himself as one of the party’s most ambitious, most prolific contributors. Marcus, who has gifted $65 million and counting to G.O.P. causes over the years, remains a top target for both Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis during this cycle’s shadow primary. But both camps are watching him warily, not only because...