Google has a donkey on its back, and it’s trying to shake it off and take a nice elephant ride instead.
That’s the metaphorical version of a new report that shows the firm, with parent firm Alphabet, aggressively courting Republicans while trying to shed what’s perceived as a strong allegiance to the Democrats.
“Few companies have been as intimately tied to the Democratic Party in recent years as Google,” an article in the Jan. 27 New York Times began. “So now that Donald J. Trump is president, the giant company, in Silicon Valley parlance, is having to pivot.”
As pointed out by the Oracle-funded Google Transparency Project, the Mountain View tech behemoth had a revolving door with the Barack Obama White House, with Googlers leaving to take up government roles and government staff leaving to work for Google. The firm had many, many meetings with high officials in the Obama administration, according to records collected by the Google Transparency Project.
Alphabet executive chairman Eric Schmidt advised the Obama White House and worked with the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. Last year, Google employees gave $1.3 million to the Clinton campaign, compared with $26,000 to Trump’s, the Times reported.
“Now, the tech giant is scrambling to forge ties with Mr. Trump’s new administration and to strengthen its relationship with a Republican-dominated Congress,” the Times reported. “Most important, Google is trying to change the perception that it is a Democratic stronghold.”
In the campaign to get cozier with the party of the elephant, Google helped throw a fete this month for 70 mostly Republican federal lawmakers in a “stately” Smithsonian building in Washington, D.C., according to the Times.