Indian American Entrepreneur and Conservative Author Vivek Ramaswamy is Mulling a 2024 Presidential Bid
- Known as the “CEO of Anti-Woke,” and a fixture on Tucker Carlson’s show on Fox News, he is said to be eyeing an outsider path similar to Trump in 2016.
The 2024 presidential election is turning out to be quite an Indian American affair. As everyone is awaiting former South Carolina governor and U.S. ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley to announce her 2024 presidential bid, another name has begun to float as a possible GOP contender. Indian American Vivek Ramaswamy, “who rocketed to conservative fame by opposing socially responsible investing in the corporate world, is weighing a 2024 bid,” including a trip to Iowa last month, according to a Politico report.
(Here it is worth mentioning that in the event President Biden does not run for a second term, Rep. Ro Khanna is widely believed to be waiting to in the wings to run).
Meanwhile, the 37-year-old Ramaswamy, recently described by the New Yorker as the “CEO of Anti-Woke Inc., is “testing, among other things, whether his warnings about the dangers of ‘wokeism’ and [ESG] has political currency with Republican politicians, business leaders and, yes, farmers,” Daniel Lippman wrote in Politico. The author, who’s become a fixture on Tucker Carlson’s show, is “eyeing an outsider path similar to Trump in 2016 or Andrew Yang in 2020,” Lippman added.
Ramaswamy has never run for office before, cleveland.com noted, adding that he’s “assembling a campaign team of experienced political talent.” He earlier passed on running for an open U.S. Senate seat as a Republican in 2022, and was being “considered a potential outside-of-the-box challenger to Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown’s 2024 reelection campaign,” the report added.
He emerged on the national stage after publishing his book “Woke, Inc.: Inside Corporate America’s Social Justice Scam,” which criticizes political correctness and identity politics in the corporate world. “Yes, I am strongly considering it,” Ramaswamy said in a statement issued Feb. 13 to several media outlets including Fox News and the USA TODAY Network. “If you ask people in my generation what it means to be an American, you get a blank stare in response. I’m on a mission to deliver an answer to that question. We need to revive the basic ideas that set this nation into motion merely 250 years ago.”
According to Lippman, the young entrepreneur wants to pull off what Donald Trump did in 2016: enter the race with an entrepreneurial spirit, unorthodox ideas, and few expectations, and end up developing a major following that will carry him to the presidency — even if it seems like a long shot at the moment.” However, as Lippman notes, Ramaswamy “doesn’t necessarily want to run on his businessman track record. Instead, he is planning to launch an ideas-based campaign focused on revitalizing the American spirit and bringing back a culture of merit into society.”
The son of Indian immigrants — his father a General Electric engineer and his mother a geriatric psychiatrist — Ramaswamy was born in Cincinnati. He attended Harvard as an undergrad and then Yale Law. He made his name first by becoming a successful biotech entrepreneur and developing medicines, including five drugs that became FDA-approved.
Last year, he founded an anti-ESG investment firm in Columbus called Strive Asset Management. The company has received financial backing from Peter Thiel, the conservative Silicon Valley billionaire and J.D. Vance, a former investment manager who was elected to the U.S. Senate in November as a Republican.
In 2016, Forbes estimated his net worth at $600 million, “which at the time made him the 24th-richest entrepreneur under the age of 40,” per cleveland.com. “The year before, a company he founded, Axovant, raised $315 million through what’s called an initial public offering, the process through which a company lists shares of its stock for trade by the general public,” the report added. The listing was the largest biotech IPO ever at the time, according to Forbes.
Talking about the reception he received in Iowa last month, Ramaswamy told Politico’s Lippman that said he has had similar receptions on his 20-stop tour for his book “Woke Inc.: Inside Corporate America’s Social Justice Scam.” He said all of the compliments had been “humbling” and led him to believe he should give the presidential campaign a shot. That he’s even found himself on this path is a testament to how central fighting culture wars and the perceived malevolence of wokeness has become in the Republican Party’s id.
“I think the GOP has a historic opportunity to answer the question of what it means to be an American at the moment where we lack a national identity,” he said. “I’m grateful that many Republican governors and other leaders have borrowed my message and woven it into their policy agendas. But when it comes to who leads our country next, I believe that it’s going to take a leader who shares his own vision, not someone else’s, and that’s what calls me to do this.”
Several other Republicans are considering running for president in 2024, including ex-President Donald Trump, ex-Vice President Mike Pence, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott.