Did you know? Besides sitting on Apple's board of directors, Google CEO Eric Schmidt has been an informal adviser to Barack Obama's presidential campaign. In fact, he lurves Obama so much that's he not just going to endorse him (shock, right?) he's going to actually campaign for him next week. And not just 'cause Obama might be good for business! No, he says he's "doing this personally." Very possibly because he wants to be the nation's very first Chief Technology Officer, a position Obama said he would create last year—maybe not-so-coincidentally right before he paid his first visit to Google!
While Schmidt says the Goog is officially neutral, the WSJ notes that "Congress is considering measures that could have an adverse impact on Google's business" like "rules that would allow telecommunications companies to charge different prices for different levels of Internet service," i.e., net non-neutrality. Obama has said that he is pro net-neutrality, which would benefit Google. Perhaps not-so-surprisingly, Google employees have donated nearly half a million dollars to Obama's campaign, and a mere $US20,600 to John McCain as of Aug. 31, according to the Journal (which would likely make them among Obama's top corporate donors, since Verizon employees' $US155,000 for McCain placed among his top 20 corporate donors ever).
Tuesday is the first day Obama and Schmidt hit the trail together, but some speculate he's been doing some campaigning of his own with Obama for a while—to be Obama's first tech chief:
Asked at a speech this month whether he would consider entering the political arena, the 53-year-old Mr. Schmidt shouted, "H-, no!" But some tech and media executives speculate that he might desire a role in an Obama administration, possibly the chief technology officer post Sen. Obama has said he would create.
I have to say, there are few more qualified than Google's CEO, especially since Bill Gates dreams beyond tech now, and Steve Jobs is perfectly happy within his own little world at Apple. Who would be your dream tech chief be? [WSJ via Valleywag, Image: Real Dan Lyons]