Tags: google | schmidt | obama

Google Chief Backing Obama

Tuesday, 21 Oct 2008 11:10 PM

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Google chief executive Eric Schmidt on Tuesday scotched speculation he might accept a job in government, after hitting the White House trail for Democrat Barack Obama in Florida.

"No, that is clear," Schmidt said when asked if he envisaged leaping from the hi-tech to the government sector following speculation that he could be in line for the new post of chief technology officer if Obama wins on November 4.

"I will put an 'N' and an 'O' and a circle around it if that would be helpful," Schmidt told reporters after taking part in an Obama "Jobs Summit" in the crucial southern battleground state.

"I have offered to help a couple of campaign days, but frankly I am busy running Google," Schmidt said, stressing that he was speaking for himself and that his firm's official position was neutral.

The boss of the search engine and new media giant backed Obama's plans to haul the US economy and finance sector out of its deep hole, and said he had been attracted by the senator's promise of change.

"It is time for a change, the current group of people got us into where we are and it is time for a new group of people to get us somewhere else," Schmidt said.

Schmidt is one of a number of top Silicon Valley executives who have served as technology advisors to the Obama campaign. Craig Newmark, founder of popular classified ads firm craigslist, is also an advisor to the Democratic nominee.

Republican candidate John McCain enjoys the support of former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, Cisco CEO John Chambers and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina among others.

But the high-tech sector has generally viewed Obama more favorably than McCain and The Wall Street Journal said that as of August 31, Google employees have contributed 487,355 dollars to Obama's campaign and just 20,600 dollars to McCain's.

The newspaper noted that Schmidt's endorsement of Obama comes although Google is involved in a number of regulatory issues with the US Congress and Justice Department, including scrutiny of a proposed advertising agreement between Google and Yahoo.

The Journal first reported Schmidt's endorsement of Obama and said there was speculation among tech and media executives that he could fill the chief technology officer post Obama has said he would create.

Copyright 2008 AFP. All rights reserved.

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