Biden’s Business Donors Are Caught in a Bind

   2024-07-06 12:07

Another day, another barrage of stories about fretful Democratic donors, worried Democratic insiders and a defiant reelection campaign from President Joe Biden. If you’re a liberal Silicon Valley or Hollywood type with strong Biden allegiances and political proclivities, you may find yourself stuck between two playbooks used in business.

One would dictate ignoring Biden’s critics, battening down the hatches and riding out the news cycle. Plenty of business success stories are built on a mentality that you can prove the haters wrong. And that seems to be what Reid Hoffman is doing: He is reportedly standing by Biden amid the onslaught of criticism.

Another business route would suggest ignoring the sunk costs, pulling support from Biden and considering a new bet on a more likely winner.

That’s what Reed Hastings, a big Democratic donor and a Netflix (NFLX) co-founder, has done with his public statement calling for Biden to step aside. That was in line with his quick action when confronted with one of Netflix’s few missteps—its plan to hive off its DVD rental business into a business separate from streaming, under the Qwikster name. After an outcry, Hastings quickly reversed course.

Other big donors appear to be clinging to another Silicon Valley trope: keeping their options open. In this case, that means not saying anything unkind about the president (and Democratic nominee) until they absolutely have to. They still have some time. The dam of this news cycle hasn’t broken just yet.

Credit: President Joe Biden. Photo via AP.

President Joe Biden. Photo via AP.

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