May 31, 2024 - Politics

Elon's political power surge

Photo illustration of Elon Musk whispering into Donald Trump's ear.

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios. Photos: The Washington Post and Variety via Getty Images

The CEO of our local carmaker is growing very close to the former — and potentially future — president.

Why it matters: Elon Musk is arguably the most important business player in modern American politics. He has the power to sway or repel voters — and stands ready to win or lose big, given his companies' deep ties to government.

  • Musk has three essential ingredients for unrivaled political power among CEOs: control of a massive social media platform, astonishing personal wealth — and now former President Trump's open and willing ear.

Meanwhile, Gov. Greg Abbott has posted buddy-buddy pictures with Musk — "It's been fun to get to know you," the governor wrote on X — and cheered Musk's musings about reincorporating his companies in Texas.

  • Tesla has given at least $11,000 to the Texas Republican Legislative Caucus over the last five years, per state campaign finance records.

Musk and Trump have begun speaking several times a month since privately meeting in March at the Florida estate of billionaire investor Nelson Peltz, the Wall Street Journal revealed this week.

  • They reportedly have discussed an advisory role for Musk if Trump wins back the White House in November — potentially giving the Tesla CEO influence over economic and border policies.
  • Musk, in turn, briefed Trump in March about his plans to invest in a data-driven project devoted to preventing voter fraud, according to the Journal.

Zoom in: In posts on X, Musk has made no secret about his distaste for President Biden's policies and the excesses of the "woke" left — without explicitly endorsing a candidate for president.

👀 The intrigue: Musk is one of the world's richest men. Yet he appears unwilling to spend money — at least so far — in his mission to defeat Biden.

  • Instead of writing checks, Musk and like-minded moguls plan to galvanize America's business elite to oppose Biden through dinner parties and salon-style gatherings, according to the Journal.

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