The Corner

Wait, When Did Corporate CEOs Become the New Heroes in American Politics?

Marc Holliday, chairman and CEO of SL Green Realty Corp, stands on the 54th floor of the 77-story One Vanderbilt office tower in midtown Manhattan, New York City, September 9, 2020. (Mike Segar/Reuters)

“American CEOs, forced into politics by cultural trends and staff demands in recent years, are hitting a new phase — actual lawmakers and rule-shapers,” Axios CEO Jim VandeHei wrote Saturday. Earlier this year at Axios, Felix Salmon wrote about “How CEOs became the 4th branch of government,” declaring, “CEOs must be considered a permanent political force, wielding awesome power. This week’s actions won’t be the last.”

There are a couple of problems with this generous analysis. First, the door seems to only swing one way.

When was the last time you saw American CEOs organize a public-pressure campaign to punish a state for

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