Governor Peter Thiel?

Insiders say tech billionaire might make a longshot run in California
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 15, 2017 11:17 AM CST
Governor Peter Thiel?
Apple CEO Tim Cook, right, and PayPal founder Peter Thiel listen as President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with technology industry leaders at Trump Tower in New York, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Perhaps inspired by Donald Trump's rise from business mogul to president-elect, Paypal founder, Gawker slayer, and ardent Trump fan Peter Thiel might be looking to add an unlikely title to his repertoire: That of governor of California, reports Politico, citing "three Republicans familiar with his thinking." While many consider the idea of a Thiel run—which raises eyebrows in deep-blue California, which only gave Trump just over 30% of its vote—unlikely, he hasn't ruled it out, per the insiders. Writing at Vanity Fair, Emma Stefansky speculates that Thiel is floating a trial balloon to gauge interest. "A Thiel victory, after all, seems about as unlikely as Trump's bid did in 2015," she writes, but he has the ability to self-fund in $100 million-plus race.

Furthering speculation, the notoriously private Thiel gave Maureen Dowd an exclusive and wide-ranging interview last week in which he proclaimed that a lack of corruption can signal "that things are too boring." Of note to potential California voters, Thiel said he'd be fine with a so-called Calexit. "I think it would be good for California, good for the rest of the country," he told Dowd. "It would help Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign." Incumbent Gov. Jerry Brown is term-limited, and potential successors being bounced around include LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, and state Treasurer John Chiang, notes Politico. (Ever stirring the pot, Thiel reportedly dressed as Hulk Hogan for a Halloween party with Trump.)

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