Billionaire Tom Steyer, a former hedge fund manager, would appear to be an unlikely messenger for a Democratic Party debating racial and gender diversity, generational change and inequalities in society, but his status as a one-man “super PAC” is setting him up to be a deeply disruptive figure in the primaries, The New York Times reported on Tuesday.
Steyer has spent $12 million on digital and television ads in only six weeks - more than any other Democrat has spent all year, which has made him a familiar face to many.
“I am the outsider in this race,” Steyer told The Times. He described Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders as “part of the establishment” and asked if former Vice President Joe Biden, really understood what this moment called for.
When he entered the race in July, Steyer told “CBS This Morning” that “To me the biggest question facing the United States is not what we should do, but how are we going to break the corrupt stranglehold that corporations have on our government.”
Although some of his rivals have accused him of buying his way into the race, activists and Democratic officials have generally been muted in their criticism of a top financier who has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on political causes in the past decade, with many privately acknowledged having received funds from him in the past or hope to in the future, according to The Times.
Steyer is serious about his run for the presidency, as he has done a decade of political groundwork, reinventing himself, from investor to political philanthropist and activist to candidate.
It remains to be seen how far this, and his wealth, will take him
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