It has been reported that Jay Carney, Bezos’ “political sherpa” and former press secretary for Obama, midwifed the donation. The two spoke directly earlier this year.
“The gift, the largest single donation ever made to the Foundation, has no restrictions on its use,” Theodore Schleifer of Puck News reported. “The Obama Foundation, for instance, has already raised over $720 million from donors toward its $1.6 billion goal, including about $170 million in 2020 and $140 million in 2019, according to recent tax filings.”
Schleifer continued, “[Bezos] is despised by what Carney might call the professional left, given his unapologetic business practices, stratospheric net worth, and essentially libertarian politics… A hefty donation to the former president’s foundation thus greases Bezos’ entry into Obama-world, and to the Democratic establishment more broadly.”
This is one of many moves Bezos has been making to tie himself in with the Obamas. Bezos’ space tourism company, Blue Origin, recently hired lobbyist Mac Campbell, who has ties to the former president, reported CNBC.
The stated motivation for the hiring decision was “to lobby on behalf of the company to ‘monitor and evaluate proposed changes to the Internal Revenue Code being considered by Congress as part of the budget reconciliation process,’ according to a lobbying registration form,” CNBC stated.
“Campbell was an assistant U.S. trade representative for congressional affairs while working in Obama’s executive office before moving on to the powerful Senate Finance Committee.”
Many were skeptical of the motivations behind this sudden generosity and interest on Bezos’ behalf:
Washington Post owner just gave $100M to Obama. In addition to the priceless years of generous media coverage, past, present, and future. https://t.co/xHrLioAwle
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) November 22, 2021
Take Shatner to space, peel off $100mm to Obama. All cheap moves to keep the antitrust stuff far on the back burner.
— SteveAustinWI (@SteveAustinWI) November 22, 2021