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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

OPINION:

President Biden raised more than $1 billion from donors for his 2020 presidential campaign, the first candidate in history to do so.

For Elon Musk, that’s walking-around money. Worth more than $200 billion, Mr. Musk might just accidentally leave a billion dollars in his pants pocket and run them through the washing machine.


And Mr. Musk is a busy — very busy — man. As the founder of Tesla, he’s taking the world into the era of electric cars. As founder of SpaceX, he’s taking mankind to Mars (one day, maybe). And now he’s … buying Twitter?

Like all billionaires, Mr. Musk’s ego is enormous. Even though he should have more than enough to do every day — and not a minute to spare for social media — Mr. Musk has been getting into Twitter spats with almost everyone, including Mr. Biden.

Mr. Musk last week slammed Mr. Biden, saying he’s not really in charge. “The real president is whoever controls the teleprompter,” said Mr. Musk, who added he has voted in the past “overwhelmingly for Democrats.”

“The path to power is the path to the teleprompter,” he said. “I do feel like if somebody were to accidentally lean on the teleprompter, it’s going to be like Anchorman,” the CEO added, referring to the 2004 film in which Will Farrell’s character Ron Burgundy will read whatever’s on the teleprompter.

“This administration doesn’t seem to get a lot done,” Mr. Musk said on the “All-In” podcast. “The Trump administration, leaving Trump aside, there were a lot of people in the administration who were effective at getting things done.”

Mr. Musk also blasted the Democratic Party as “overly controlled by the unions and by the trial lawyers, particularly the class-action lawyers.” The party, he said, goes against “the interests of the people. In the case of Biden, he is simply too much captured by the unions.”

Mr. Musk also took aim at two-time loser Hillary Clinton, calling her 2016 allegations that former President Donald Trump colluded with Russia to alter to election outcome was “a Clinton campaign hoax for which their campaign lawyer is undergoing a criminal trial.”

A few days later, Mr. Musk said he has changed parties. “In the past, I voted Democrat, because they were (mostly) the kindness party,” Mr. Musk tweeted. “But they have become the party of division & hate, so I can no longer support them and will vote Republican. Now, watch their dirty tricks campaign against me unfold.”

And it didn’t take long for that to happen.

“A former flight attendant working on a contract basis in the cabin crew for SpaceX’s corporate jet fleet accused Musk of exposing his erect penis to her, rubbing her leg without consent, and offering to buy her a horse in exchange for an erotic massage,” Fox News reported just a day later.

The alleged incident took place in 2016. After the woman made the allegation to the company’s human resources department and Mr. Musk, SpaceX paid a $250,000 severance to the woman in 2018.

Mr. Musk fired back, calling the initial report by Insider a “politically motivated hit piece.”

“If I were inclined to engage in sexual harassment, this is unlikely to be the first time in my entire 30-year career that it comes to light,” he wrote on Twitter.

“The attacks against me should be viewed through a political lens — this is their standard (despicable) playbook — but nothing will deter me from fighting for a good future and your right to free speech,” he tweeted.

The Insider report cited a “friend” of the former attendant as the source, prompting Mr. Musk to tweet, “the ‘friend’ in question who gave the interview to BI is a far-left activist/actress in LA with a major political axe to grind.”

The sex allegation also came after Mr. Musk defended Mr. Trump while again blasting Mr. Biden.

“Even though I think a less divisive candidate would be better in 2024, I still think Trump should be restored to Twitter,” Mr. Musk tweeted, later adding: “Biden’s mistake is that he thinks he was elected to transform the country, but actually everyone just wanted less drama.”

Banning Mr. Trump “was a mistake because it alienated a large part of the county, and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice,” Mr. Musk said, adding that the decision was also “morally bad.”

So now, Mr. Musk has a huge target on his back, with the Securities and Exchange Commission announcing a new probe. And it’s all going to get worse, simply because Mr. Musk is dissing Mr. Biden and Democrats.

But Mr. Musk is clearly a multitasker. He decided to buy Twitter in part because he didn’t like how the platform was squelching free speech and has vowed to return it to a forum featuring a free exchange of ideas.

So liberals better tread lightly with Mr. Musk, or maybe he’ll just decide to go into politics, run for president — and change everything. At a billion dollars per campaign, he can do so until 2,822, presuming the entrepreneur finds the key to everlasting life.

• Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times. 


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