It's check-writing season for Reid Hoffman, and not just for his two venture capital firms, two special purpose acquisition corporations, two podcasts, six startup boards or any of the other extracurricular activities that keep him stupendously busy. (I counted one real job—at Greylock Partners—and 15 side hustles, which he confirmed.)
Hoffman, the LinkedIn founder and Democratic superdonor, has been giving prolifically to politicians on both sides of the aisle this election cycle. (A Federal Election Commission database lists no fewer than 190 campaign contributions by Hoffman in 2022.) When we spoke by video call last week, he was waiting to see if two Republicans he had supported with midterm cash, Liz Cheney and Lisa Murkowski, would make it out of their GOP primaries. Murkowski squeaked by; Cheney lost in a landslide.
Outside-the-box advocacy isn’t new for Hoffman: He wrote a check for Emmanuel Macron’s presidential campaign when he learned that non–French citizens could do so. But at the root of most of Hoffman’s political activity these days is an outright disdain for one person: Donald Trump, whom he terms “a Chernobyl…within the U.S. system.” Speaking from his home near Seattle, he told me he’d readily contribute to a Cheney campaign for president if she asked. “While I disagree with many of Liz Cheney’s ideas on where we should go as a society,” he said, “I recognize her as a modern American hero.”