Industry-leading business tycoons and politicians often have close working relationships. The government makes laws that regulate business, and businesses pay a large share of taxes. Often, these close working relationships between industry and Washington receive scrutiny, and accusations of corruption can surface if these relationships seem mutually beneficial.
However, some CEOs and business tycoons skip the middleman and simply run for office themselves. Rules in the US prevent elected officials from serving in leadership positions with companies while they’re in office, but that doesn’t keep these business magnates from putting a pause on their leadership duties while they take a trip to Washington.
Even if you don’t live in New York, you’ve likely heard the name Bloomberg. The former mayor of New York City owns Bloomberg LP, a company with numerous subsidiaries, both public-facing and more hidden. Bloomberg’s wealth and influence from his business successes were most palpable during his 2020 presidential bid.
In the scramble of Democratic candidates attempting to ouster Donald Trump from the White House, Bloomberg emerged as a technocratic giant in the race. While he was unsuccessful in his primary bid, losing out to Joe Biden, Bloomberg’s immense personal wealth allowed him to spin up a truly impressive campaign apparatus. Notably, he accepted no campaign donations and only used his own fortune to fund the campaign.
Donald Trump was a well-known public figure long before he took office in 2016. The 45th President of the United States got his start as a real estate mogul, owning properties like Las Vegas hotels and golf clubs. Like Bloomberg, he has remained an influential figure in New York City. Indeed, Trump’s own personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, served as mayor of New York immediately prior to Bloomberg’s first term in that office.
Trump’s personal finances and business relationships have been the source of ongoing controversy, both during and after his presidency. However, what is indisputable is the personal brand he has cultivated over his years spent in the public eye. When you see a Trump-branded hotel, it’s unmistakable.
The Austrian bodybuilder and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger isn’t just the Terminator: he’s an accomplished real estate investor and the former governor of California. Winning the governorship in a 2003 recall election, Schwarzenegger has remained an influential force both in pop culture and the business world following his time in office.
His election shocked the Democratic Party in California, but it also gave rise to the coolest political nickname ever: the Governator.