The Facebook founder is on a personal mission to visit 30 states, possibly to lay the groundwork for a presidential run in 2020. But when you are the fifth-richest person in the world and an icon of the age of social media, you don’t just casually visit people.
As the Wall Street Journal reports, Zuckerberg put an elaborate protocol in place for his spontaneous interactions with normal mortals. His staff, which is unusually heavy with former Obama and Clinton campaign staffers, covertly case out a possible place ahead of time. Then, if the spot is appropriate, they make a last-minute announcement. Thus, a candy store owner in Wilton, Iowa, was told, “Mark Zuckerberg will be here in five minutes.”
The rules for meeting Zuckerberg, as codified by the Journal, are:
Rule One: You probably won’t know Mr. Zuckerberg is coming.
Rule Two: If you do know he’s coming, keep it to yourself.
Rule Three: Be careful what you reveal about the meeting.
These are fine rules if you are a mysterious billionaire with a secret plot and noctilionine suit, but they might not be compatible with the rough-and-tumble of presidential politics.