For the last several months, America’s worst millennial has been criss-crossing the country, spending time looking at cows and looking at trains and smiling in a way that does not in the slightest suggest at least 10,000 hours of practice. Although he has conceivably talked to hundreds of people on these journeys, he has also not learned how to speak:
All of this—the looking at stuff, the meeting with “ordinary folks,” the forced references to J.K. Rowling and Beyonce—suggests that the Facebook founder is up to something, either running for office or trying to discover, at long last, what it means to be a real boy. But Zuckerberg has denied again and again that he has the presidency in mind, even as he hired people like former Obama man David Plouffe to work for him.
Throughout all of this, it was at least possible that Mark Zuckerberg, the only person under 70 who thinks Mark Zuckerberg is cool, was really on a high-profile PR tour—that all of these visits were really about trying to improve Facebook’s (and his) image after both took a hit during 2016. But on Wednesday evening, Zuckerberg’s plausible deniability—which was never all that plausible, given that no one has ever toured a factory without declaring a plan to run for higher office six months later—finally became implausible. Politico reports that Zuckerberg has hired fancy pollster Joel Benenson, who was last seen being hated by everyone in the Clinton campaign in Shattered. (“Condescending, dismissive, nasty” is how Benenson is described, a description that also applies to Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal of Zuckerberg in Aaron Sorkin’s biopic.)
Presumably, Benenson has been hired to test if Zuckerberg has a shot at winning the Democratic nomination for 2020—and not to help Mark figure out what a truck stop is. Zuckerberg will drop out after getting 3 percent of the vote in New Hampshire.