Chamath Palihapitiya, the founder of VC firm Social Capital, thinks the American political system is broken.
But he sees a way to fix it: get Mike Bloomberg elected the next US president.
In fact, he believes in it so much that he’s willing to temporarily shut down his firm, and use its resources on backing Bloomberg’s presidential bid instead, if he decides to run.
“I’ve told them (Bloomberg’s folks) that most of us would pause our day jobs to get him elected. I’ve offered to run ‘Growth’ for the period of his campaign,” Palihapitiya told Business Insider. “We are 100% serious — he needs to run.”
What Palihapitiya basically hopes to establish through Bloomberg’s election is that there’s a way for independent candidates to win presidency, and ultimately, to bust the two party system of American politics, which he says is “holding back the country.”
Palihapitiya, estimated to be worth over $1 billion, made his fortune as an early Facebook executive, running its original “growth team” that took the site to a billion users. Part of that growth team is now at Social Capital, a fast-growing VC firm that’s funded companies like Slack, Survey Monkey, and Yammer.
“If he does run, the same team (Social Capital’s Growth Team) that helped build Facebook to 1 billion users would do our best to activate the entire United States to put him in The White House. I think we’d be successful,” Palihapitiya added.
Bloomberg hasn’t launched an official presidential campaign, but told the Financial Times that he’s considering a 2016 presidential run.
Palihapitiya has been vocal about this idea for some time now. He first mentioned it during a Quora Q&A session held in January, and reiterated it in a speech at last week’s startup event called LAUNCH Festival.
But in order to get Bloomberg to win, Palihapitiya says there’s one important thing that needs to happen first: Donald Trump has to win the Republican nomination.
If Trump wins, it will possibly fragment the Republican party into three separate groups (centrists, tea party, evangelical), which will eventually have the effect of breaking down the two-party duopoly in US politics. Once that happens, independent candidates will have a better chance of winning with a legitimate agenda, without being affected by lobbyists or “monied interests,” he says.
“That’s how important it is in many ways, that we validate a third party alternative, because it just creates so much more possibilities, it’s just a much brighter future,” Palihapitiya said at the LAUNCH Festival.
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