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Clinton is trouncing Trump in the boardrooms of corporate America

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton reacts as she arrives to speak during her California primary night rally held in the Brooklyn borough of New York June 7, 2016.
Reuters/Lucas Jackson
It's a laugh.
  • Tim Fernholz
By Tim Fernholz

Senior reporter

Published This article is more than 2 years old.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign rolled out a list of endorsements from corporate executives, a formidable display of just how attractive her brand of center-left politics can be in the age of Donald Trump’s madness.

Notables include investor Warren Buffet, Delta’s Richard Anderson, and IAC’s Barry Diller, as well as Silicon Valley luminaries including venture capitalists John Doerr and Reid Hoffman, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, Netflix CEO Reed Hasting, and Alphabet Chairman Eric Schmidt (but we already told you that).

Many are longtime supporters of the Democratic party, but some are Republicans who can’t stomach Trump, including Dan Akerson, a former GM executive, and Jim Cicconi, a former Republican White House official who works for AT&T. Cisco’s CEO wasn’t on the list, but has said he won’t back Trump, and Intel’s CEO cancelled a planned Trump fundraiser.

Trump, meanwhile, has been getting lectured on politics by the US Chamber of Commerce, whose dream—a billionaire tycoon winning the GOP presidential nomination—has become a nightmare. Trump is abandoning the campaign trail for the next two days to attend a promotional event at a golf course in Scotland.

“Everyone knows this is the wrong thing for the nominee to be doing now, and it is amazing this can’t be stopped,” Scott Reed, the Chamber’s top political strategist, told the New York Times.

Outgoing president Barack Obama, long the bête noire of the business lobbyists, is dishing out critiques of the Republican nominee from the pages of Bloomberg Businessweek.

“There’s no successful businessman in America who actually thinks the most successful businessman in the country is Donald Trump,” he told the magazine. “I know those guys, and so do you, and I guarantee you, that’s not their view.”

The embrace of Clinton isn’t all-encompassing. Facebook board member and champerty capitalist Peter Thiel is a notable Trump supporter. Fossil fuel energy and finance executives are an obvious omission from the list of Clinton endorsees—but that could serve to reassure Democrats who backed senator Bernie Sander’s anti-corporate rhetoric.

Clinton’s two speeches this week kept the focus on economic fairness, part of a strategy designed to take her to the July nominating convention with her entire party behind her.

“Let’s make sure that Wall Street, corporations, and the super-rich pay their fair share of taxes,” she said in North Carolina yesterday, calling for more government investment in infrastructure, tuition assistance, and family leave.

It’s the rare candidate who can call for higher taxes on corporations while winning the support of corporate leaders—a testament not just to Clinton’s leadership, but also to how weakly Trump is contesting her on the issues.

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