Valley VC Peter Thiel becomes an official Trump delegate
Bombastic orange billionaire has at least one vote in California
Paypal co-founder, Facebook investor, dope-loving Silicon Valley VC Peter Thiel is an official Trump delegate for California.
The bombastic billionaire (Trump that is) released the delegate list [PDF] for California this week and alongside politicians like House majority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA), many were surprised to see Thiel listed.
They shouldn't be: not only is Thiel a long-time donor to the Republican party, but shares plenty of views in common with Trump. While much of Silicon Valley is asking for immigration reform, Thiel is opposed to immigration and even donated $1m to an anti-immigration group called NumbersUSA. Trump, it is fair to say, is not a fan of immigration.
Thiel is also an isolationist and stronger believer of American exceptionalism. He is anti-tax and anti-government. And, like Trump, he is a billionaire separated from reality who conflates his personal experiences to that of everyone in the country. Case in point: his insistence that the tech sector is not in a bubble.
Like many Republicans, Thiel has come late to the Trump party however: he initially backed libertarian Rand Paul in his presidential bid, providing a $2.6m donation to his Super PAC. Then he shifted to former HP CEO Carly Fiorina, donating $2m to her campaign. When she dropped out, he supported Ted Cruz.
It's probably safe to say that Peter Thiel doesn't much care who is the Republican presidential candidate so long as he can use his millions to get in the same room.
If Trump does prevail in the elections later in the year, Thiel will be one of a very small number of tech execs celebrating in a state that is solidly Democratic.
Thiel's fellow PayPal co-founders, Max Levchin and Elon Musk are both Democrats. Mark Zuckerberg, as the CEO of the company that is the source of much of Thiel's money, is solidly blue. And fellow VC, Facebook Board member and offender of the Indian sub-continent, Marc Andreessen has said he will vote for Hillary Clinton.
Not that Thiel will care much. He has his money and some people continue to listen to him for some reason. If Trump gets in, a move may even be on the cards: Thiel has put his house right next to San Francisco's iconic Palace of Fine Arts up for sale. The price? A very reasonable $9.25m. ®