Alternate headline: Donald Trump to stick with Truth Social. As Elon Musk apparently remains on track to buy Twitter and take it private, he’s loosening up about his political preferences in the next couple of cycles. Early this morning, the nation’s wealthiest billionaire shared on his soon-to-be personal platform that he’d cast his first vote for a Republican in the TX-34 special election:
I voted for Mayra Flores – first time I ever voted Republican.
Massive red wave in 2022.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 15, 2022
His next vote, Musk continued, might be for a Florida Republican, although Musk called that choice “tbd” at the moment:
Elon Musk said that he would likely vote for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, for president in 2024.
Musk was asked early Wednesday morning on Twitter who he was “leaning towards” voting for as president, and he responded: “DeSantis.”
He made the comment after he was asked if he would vote for a Republican for president, and he said “tbd,” or to be decided.
He added that he supported the Democratic candidate Andrew Yang in the 2020 election but believes DeSantis “has a better chance of winning” in the upcoming election.
So … Musk has been red-pilled? Not exactly. Lest one think that Musk has fully converted to the Right, he also hinted at setting up a centrist PAC to fund Democrats as well as Republicans (via Twitchy):
I’m thinking of creating a “Super Moderate Super PAC” that supports candidates with centrist views from all parties
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 15, 2022
I’m not sure Ron DeSantis will take a lot of comfort in the suggestion that he’s a candidate with “centrist views.” It’s also unclear why Musk would choose DeSantis if he’s looking to promote centrists, except for the fact that DeSantis is most likely to win in the end. That sounds more like a billionaire’s calculation than a political strategy based on ideology or policy, but it’s Musk’s money and YMMV. I doubt DeSantis will reject Musk’s quasi-endorsement in the meantime, but let’s just say that as political signals go, Musk has been less than coherent overnight.
What about his signals about the Twitter deal? Those appear to have more clarity this week. Musk plans to engage Twitter employees in a Q&A session tomorrow to prepare for the changes that his new ownership will bring. That seems to indicate that Parag Agrawal’s concession on bot data last week satisfied Musk enough to proceed with the buyout deal:
Elon Musk will address Twitter employees Thursday for the first time since the billionaire and Tesla CEO offered $44 billion to buy the social media platform, the company said Tuesday.
Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal announced an all-hands meeting to employees in an email on Monday, saying they’d be able to submit questions in advance, according to The Wall Street Journal. …
The irascible billionaire has levied a barrage of criticism at the company, from its moderation and safety policies, which he terms a threat to “ free speech,” to its anonymous user accounts, which he would like to eliminate, to its ban of former President Donald Trump, which he has pledged to reverse.
If history is any guide, Musk might also consider moving the company to Texas, as he did with Tesla’s headquarters in December 2021. An unabashed crypto devotee, he has floated ideas about accepting the cryptocurrency dogecoin as payment for premium accounts. Musk also once had Tesla purchase $1.5 billion in bitcoin and for a brief period allowed buyers to pay for their cars using cryptocurrency.
He’s also targeted Twitter’s work-from home policy, having once called for the company’s headquarters to be turned into a “homeless shelter” because, he said, so few employees actually worked there.
There have been calls to make this session available to the public, which Musk and Agrawal may as well do. The exchanges will get leaked on social media, especially Twitter, as it unfolds anyway, so why not have it live-streamed on the platform? It might be Twitter’s biggest ad moment of the year, in fact.
At the moment, the Twitter deal looks more real than Musk’s Super Moderate Super PAC. But it’s interesting to note that his vote for Flores is even more real than the deal for Twitter.