Zuckerberg To Hold Fundraiser for Gov. Christie

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Jan. 24 2013 12:50 PM

Mark Zuckerberg Will Host a Fancy Fundraiser for Chris Christie

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New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (C), applauds citizen heroes from Hurricane Sandy during his State of the State address in the Assembly Chamber at the Statehouse on January 8, 2013 in Trenton, New Jersey

Photo by John Moore/Getty Images.

Let's file this away for later, say 2016: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg will host a fundraiser next month for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. While the event is technically for the Republican's re-election in the Garden State, it will undoubtedly leave political tea-leaf readers thinking ahead to a possible presidential run for a man who is currently enjoying record approval ratings in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

The fundraiser will take place next month at Zuckerberg's home in Palo Alto, Calif., according to Buzzfeed, which confirmed the news from both camps, and explained just how big this is for Christie's prospects on the national stage:

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The backing from Facebook's chairman and chief executive offers far more than money: It is a mark of how Christie, almost alone among his party, has emerged as the sort of natural figure who can cut deep into traditionally Democratic constituencies, like powerful young tech magnates.

Zuckerberg met Christie in 2010 when he donated $100 million to Newark public schools (here's Zuckerberg, Christie, and Newark Mayor Cory Booker on Oprah announcing the grant), and they've become mutual fans since then. The New Jersey governor is up for re-election this year, but doesn't appear to be in desperate need of cash. According to recent campaign filings, his campaign has more than $2 million in the bank. Democrats, meanwhile, are still trying to find a bold-faced name to run against him.

Abby Ohlheiser is a Slate contributor.