Silicon Valley’s Biden Beef and Zuckerberg’s Hired Gun

Mark Zuckerberg
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Theodore Schleifer
December 20, 2021

Mark Zuckerberg’s political interests are, understandably, the subject of intense scrutiny. Liberals have long suspected that he is a hostage of the right, if not a Republican sympathizer, given the extensive aid that Facebook provided Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016 and Zuckerberg’s subsequent reluctance to boot him from the platform. Conservatives presume he is a hostage of his woke employees, if not a card-carrying progressive himself, given that he did eventually deplatform Trump. 

That’s why I was intrigued to hear from a source that Zuckerberg recently hired Brian Baker, a longtime Republican strategist, for a new political project. Baker, as Washington insiders will know, is the well-respected political right hand to the billionaire Ricketts family—which includes Todd Ricketts, the co-owner of the Chicago Cubs and until recently the G.O.P. finance chair, and Pete Ricketts, the Republican governor of Nebraska—as well as a key player in the high-dollar G.O.P. fundraising world more broadly. Baker has run outside groups and super PACs that devised vicious attacks on Barack Obama and was one of the few big-money players to support Trump in 2016. Zuckerberg and the Ricketts family are probably as far apart as any two donors could be.