Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who is definitely not running for president, has hired top Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton pollster and strategist Joel Benenson, Politico reports. Because Zuckerberg is not running for president, Benenson's work is restricted to research for Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan's charity organization; Zuckerberg and Chan have promised to donate 99 percent of their Facebook shares, an estimated $45 billion, to charity.
While Benenson was the chief strategist to Clinton's 2016 campaign, the Benenson Strategy Group does do a lot of work for non-profit groups, including conducting a recent mental wellness survey on behalf of Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation. That being said, Zuckerberg, who is not running for president, has also hired in the past year Obama's 2008 campaign manager, David Plouffe; former communications adviser to one-time vice presidential candidate Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Joe Biden aide, Amy Dudley; and the head of former President George W. Bush's 2004 re-election campaign, Ken Mehlman.
Zuckerberg is also touring the United States with the goal of meeting ordinary Americans, some of whom happen to live in Iowa, the first state to vote in the primaries, and Ohio, which has been carried by every winning presidential candidate since 1960. And while he isn't running for president, Zuckerberg also recently toured a Ford factory in Detroit just because.
"Some of you have asked if this challenge means I'm running for public office," Zuckerberg wrote last spring. "I'm not."