While original Facebook employee Chris Hughes is busy trying to restart The New Republic, his equally cherubic husband Sean Eldridge has a project of his own: let's get elected to Congress in a place we aren't from.
The New York Times says Hughes and Eldridge are doing the ol' Hey guys, it's us, your neighbors in New York's 19th district! maneuver, buying a $2 million modernist mansion in a subtle attempt to blend in with the largely working class populace. It might be more convincing if the duo hadn't just tried the exact same thing with a $5 million house in another district, only to find that the seat wasn't winnable.
So here they are, in Ulster County, New York, just being regular folk:
Mr. Eldridge said he and his husband, who also own a loft in SoHo in Manhattan, were settling into their new upstate home. He described a routine that includes grocery shopping and dining in Woodstock, the artsy enclave nearby. “We’re very involved in the community,” he said.
Mr. Eldridge’s supporters note that for all the trappings of wealth he now possesses, Mr. Eldridge grew up in a middle-class community in Ohio, where both of his parents were doctors; they say he has a genuine understanding of people of modest means.
I've also heard that there are non-rich people on Facebook, so that can be a rewarding place to look as well. Aside from their manse, Eldridge is pumping money—around $800,000 at this point—into the local economy via small business loans, and donated $250,000 for a 3D printing facility at SUNY New Paltz, because ordinary Americans really love 3D printing.
With millions dispensed, district residents are still skeptical:
“He seemed pretty friendly,” Mr. Riccobono recalled. “Then I found out he was running against Congressman Gibson and I thought that this was all a little bit of a staged situation.”
A little bit.