Microsoft, a company widely thought of as a kingmaker, seems to be getting behind Democratic challenger Joe Biden as a landmark presidential election looms.
Reuters reports Microsoft has emerged as the fourth-largest Biden contributor, even though reporters show the company won a $10 billion contract under the Trump administration.
Microsoft has always had a lot of clout – as the single top tech company by market cap in the American market, Microsoft has been a household name for decades, after pioneering dominant operating systems for the ubiquitous personal computers used in home offices and workplaces around the world.
Reports show figures like the Microsoft president and CTO personally funding the Biden campaign as well.
Microsoft’s current leanings seem to defy the traditional logic of ‘pay to play’ campaign financing. To whit – if Microsoft got so much money under Trump, why would it be backing Biden? Why bite the hand that feeds you?
The answer has a lot to do with the uniqueness of this election, and the unique abrasion of the current White House occupant to American values and popular culture.
In that context, Microsoft’s betrayal is not surprising, given some of Bill Gates’s comments about the presidential handling of a pandemic that has the potential to kill vast numbers of Americans where so many, including Gates himself, seem to perceive the administration’s work as basically dancing on everyone’s graves.
“You know, this has been a mismanaged situation every step of the way,” Gates reportedly said in September. “It’s shocking. It’s unbelievable — the fact that we would be among the worst in the world.”
A Microsoft spokesperson had this to say recently on the pivot:
“Our approach has been consistent: we’ll partner where we can, we’ll stand apart where we should.”
To many, this is a harbinger of the change that’s coming. The consensus seems to be that a new shuffling of American officials would move the country back toward the center, which might constrain the more extreme forms of capital reaping, but would also provide some healing for an economy under pressure.