The Google President

I missed Steve Kroft’s interview of Obama last night but caught Couric’s interview of Hillary. I like Hillary and feel sorry for her that’s she’s going to lose this race. But I sense it’s over for her. Momentum matters so much in the primaries.

Apparently Obama cloaked himself in the coat of Google in the interview with Kroft. This from Bob Lefsetz:

And although poised, Obama was so young, and so thin! Could this guy
really be an effective President? Steve Kroft asked him about his

Barack Obama responded that there are many old,
established companies in America, but only one Google, young, rich and
successful. And that sealed the deal. Iā€™m an Obama man.

If Obama really wants to be the Google president, he should promise to "do no evil." That would seal the deal for me.


Comments (Archived):

    1. fredwilson

      ThanksI love youtube!

  1. Tom W.

    Fred, you may be right but I hope you’re wrong. Even more so tan the Google comparison, Obama has to tamp down concerns over the cultish/religious aspect of his campaig, and some of the outright sexism of some of his supporters and fans in the media.”Only one Google” – the arrogance!

    1. Greg Cannon

      Sincere question: What examples of sexism from the Obama camp? Not saying there haven’t been any, just not aware of them. I am aware, however, of the race politics being played by the Clintons. As for the “cultish” aspects of the campaign, frankly that just strikes me as cynicism on the part of people who are so past believing that a politician could possible inspire hope in people. If that’s true than we really are done for and there’s no sense paying attention to this whole thing in the first place.

      1. Tom W.

        Three aspects to the sexism thing, all troubling:- Obama’s supporters everywhere on the mainstream Democratic sites, blogs, boards. Tons of nasty “little old lady” comments, referencing right-wing talking points, and general shouting down of pro-Hillary feminist viewpoints. (BTW, this has also happened at some caucus sites). The campaign is silent.- The anti-Clinton media machine, with its virulently anti-woman tone, the most recent example being Matthews and Shuster on MSNBC (apologies, suspension) but also Maureen Dowd, Andrew Sullivan, myriad others. Obama’s silence, particularly on the Shuster “pimping” comment, was telling to me. How easily he could have gained points with feminists!- Finally, the attitude of the candidate himself – “likeable enough,” “tea parties,” “the claws come out,” the snub. All very telling, and kind of ugly.The cult does exist, and its religious is there, from Oprah on down – the idea of “The One.” Very ant-American to me. And yes, I’m cynical – I cop to that. I used to cover politics in the Bronx way back in the day, so it’s scrubbed in.

        1. Greg Cannon

          Tom, I’m a former reporter myself so I know of what you speak. I’m making a conscious effort to be less cynical (quitting the newspaper business certainly helped šŸ˜‰ You raise some valid points, but I don’t think Obama should have to apologize for for some ninny on cable said or even make a point to denounce it. And while he’s certainly milking the “cult” thing, you can’t blame him for attracting that kind of following in the first place. What I see as unAmerican is the prospect of entering a third decade under the leadership of one of the same two families. Enough.

          1. Tom W.

            Well, that two families stuff is just there to disqualify the “wife of…” even though she’s more qualified. I don’t like that argument very much. It’s not her fault George Bush is president. And yeah, the cynicism is baked in – when this cult crashes (because the expectations are now out there for some vast religious awakening that won’t happen) it will be very, very ugly indeed.

          2. charlie crystle

            Obama spoke out about the pimping statement. pay attention.

          3. Tom W.

            Where? Link? (He certainly did it very quietly if what you’re saying is true)

          4. Greg Cannon

            I’m supporting Obama, but actually expecting little from him beyond the basics of not actively screwing things up a la Bush. And while it’s not Hillary’s “fault” that Bill got to the White House first, she can’t very well claim those two terms on her resume and then blame me and many like me for having Clinton fatigue. It’s not her “fault” she’s married to Bill, but it’s not mine either.

          5. Tom W.

            Greg – I actually went the other way on “not screwing up” part. The whole movement feel on Obama’s side is so troubling. Part of him seems to be a regular progressive Democrat, and another part seems to accept “The One” status – which could get us into tons of trouble on every front. With Hillary, I know exactly what I’m getting. And I respect her.

          6. Greg Cannon

            In the end, I will of course support her if she’s the nominee. My two biggest problems with her: Iraq and the sense that she’s entitled to the nomination. For me, the latter is worse than Obama’s willingness to accept the “chosen one” mantle.

          7. Tom W.

            Wow, I feel just the opposite – to me, “chosen one” is much scarier.

          8. Greg Cannon

            I guess the difference is that the “chosen one” schtick is Obama getting caught up in the moment. I don’t think the guy has a messianic character. If I did, I’d steer clear of him. And I guess I think that, in the end, the reality of the Oval Office will knock him back to reality whereas I don’t think that will be enough to cure Hillary of what I think ails her. In fact, I think it will only make things worse.

        2. Michael

          I think this is proof positive how important this race is, especially in light of the last seven years; there’s oversensitivity to go around. If there is any clear evidence of unfounded animosity, it comes from the MSM and Chris “Aqua Velva” Matthews in particular. But, I can’t sit idly by and let this sort of conjecture go undisturbed.I have firmly come into the Obama camp after a long, hard look at all my options. And I feel exactly zero shame in holding my head high in support of him. Does that make me cultish, to have pride not just in a candidate, but in a renewed sense of Country? If I were to say someone showed their claws, and that person is female, does that make me a misogynist? If a handful of random, anonymous people say mean things, do those reflect Obama’s views as if he said them himself? If Chris Matthews (et alia) goes bananas, does that represent anything other than his / their own faults? (Is that not simply proof that the leading punditocracy is simply too far gone, and really nothing more?)Critically, If a woman — yes, a woman! — no matter how self-identified, has a career even partially enabled by her notoriously philandering male spouse, exactly how does she score on the scale of Absolute Feminism? Are you, Mister Man, the judge? Does Steinem matter, but Paglia not? Does NY’s NOW matter, but not Chicago’s? Is she the ne plus ultra of feminism because she is the embodiment of feminism, or because she is simply the leading female figure of the day? And, do you get a feminist cookies for promoting Hillary, while I must be misogynist for challenging that position, even ever so lightly?Tom, if you wish to support Clinton, please do so. You won’t get any grief from me for positively backing your candidate. But sooner or later, you should realize that your comments & thinking convey the same Beltway mindset, the other side of the same (Bush) coin, that so many are lamenting …and moving past. It’s the view that things really just won’t get any better, that everything is as you define it. It is the “change” as defined by Clinton herself — to be anti-Bush, as he was anti-Clinton, as he was anti-Bush. It’s the pinnacle of cynicism. And, unfortunately, that is precisely what a Clinton candidacy represents to me.So say what you will about we cultists, we misogynists, we … whatever out there. But between a high-minded sense of hope that discounts neither harsh reality nor glosses over hard work, and a candidate who, while perfectly smart and hard-working and skilled, will undoubtedly bring about more of the bitter sensibilities of the last um-teen years, I want to thank you for making my choice ever the more clear.PS — My apologies to Fred if this is out of line. Your house, after all.

          1. Tom W.

            Michael, no one said you’re a misogynist – I respect your choice (though it seems you don’t respect mine – the anti-Clinton stuff just came tumbling out there). I do believe that Senator Obama would be better served by not remaining silent on the bitter sexist attacks on his opponent – someone, by the way, who shares virtually all of his policy views when compared to the GOP, and someone whose constituency he’d need quite desperately in the fall.No one said you’re cultish either. That doesn’t mean the cult ain’t out there, because it is. And I don’t get a “sense of country” from the Obama movement. I get a sense of savior – and I naturally recoil. Can’t help it. Just me, but many others feel the same way.And yeah, I’m a cynic – I don’t believe in the audacity of hope. I think it’s crap (indeed, not even a decent metaphor English – hope isn’t audacious, it’s more of a common denominator). A pop slogan. Give me universal health care in the richest nation on the planet instead.

          2. Michael

            Tom, please allow me to put this plainly: You wrote a post levying certain assertions, and I challenged them. It’s fair and fine if we disagree, but backpedaling on those assertions (and their effect) after the fact is … well, you’re better than that. (And for the ur-literal: no, you did not categorically state I am a misogynist; I followed your line of “sexist” / “feminist” accusations to their logical conclusion in a manner actually less-frothing as the way in which you issued them.)But perhaps you were indeed too cynical — ‘The Audacity of Hope’ was meant as mini-teleology, an ironic twist on what Jed Purdy might otherwise have entitled ‘For Common Things’, the finality or end-run of cynicism. It’s no wonder that eluded you! ; )

          3. Cranky Kate

            Well said, Michael. As a recent Clinton-turned-Obama supporter thanks to Bill supremely disappointing me, I have seen that it’s difficult to challenge her fairly when her gender makes even her ideas and platform beyond reproach. Tom, as for Obama’s status as “The One” – I’d like to share part of what I wrote to Paul Krugman today in response to what I felt was his inaccurate interpretation of this phenomenon. And although I am not young enough to speak for them, I’d guess this is part of why Gen Y is mobilizing for him too: “I am sure that the cult of personality issue may exist for some, but I would offer this juxtaposition. The Clintons were a cult of personality, at least for people like me. I loved the IDEA of Bill, and the legacy of Bill, and the good times of peace and prosperity that came along with Bill… and I held out hope that he’d rubbed off on Hillary. Even if I didn’t find her particularly engaging or inspiring, I was engaged and inspired by the idea of More Clinton Times. By contrast, Obama is not all about Obama, he’s all about ME. We are the ones who are important, we are the ones who will take responsibility… we are the ones that matter in this race, not him. He’s The Great Facilitator, if you will… a conduit for us to affect change for ourselves. So last year WE were Time’s person of the year – this year, WE get to be president. The cult of personality is our infatuation with our OWN ego. Yes there are dangers associated with this as well, but to the extent that it (a) engages the populous in government again and (b) holds politicians accountable to us, it’s a good thing.

          4. scott crawford

            Nice post Kate.

        3. Ethan Bauley

          Tom’s criticisms are somewhat legitimate but they are pretty pale compared to Larry Lessig’s withering critique of Clinton’s mischaracterizations and knowingly false statements about Obama’s record.Larry Lessig on Obama v. ClintonLessig was right when he termed these tactics “Rovean”, as in Karl Rove. I love both Clintons’ policies but they are completely committed to working within an unsustainable system.Clinton thinks “change” means “no more Bush”; it really means shifting the culture of Washington, which starts with where the money comes from. And Obama is leading the way there (among other important places he is innovating).

  2. tim

    And yet Google failed at the “do no evil’ motto so I really hope he doesn’t. And I have a hard time feeling sorry for a politician – especially a Clinton. They made their bed….

  3. Jim Larrison

    Fred, I love you brother, but I think your decision to vote for Hillary because Barak doesn’t have substance is a little off. I went to the Obama forum yesterday in Alexandria. Senator Obama spoke for almost 2 hours and took every question under the sun. He was all substance and had real detailed plans that he shared. He did speak about why he talks about hope so much, but the majority of the time was detailed plans he had and the ways he was going to solve these problems.He is an inspiration and really does have a plan. He is realistic and doesn’t seem to be just promising to fix everything.Maybe he is talking more substance because of people like you raising the concern that it was lacking, but I will tell you I have seen Hillary and met Bill once, but Barak is something new and really is doing this for the right reasons. I am not sure I can say that about Hillary.I hope you will support Barak if he beats Hillary in the primary.You are a good man!

    1. fredwilson

      Of course I will support Obama if he wins.I think I’ve been very clear and consistent on that point.It was a very hard choice for me and I could easily have pulled the lever (actually it was a paper ballot) for Obama.Fred

  4. harsh shah

    One thing that I considered when I was on-the-fence between Obama and Clinton is that Obama seems to pronounce a lesser belligerent foreign policy compared to Clinton.

  5. JDScott

    Fred, while momentum is important, old networks are even more so. Obama will win again this week in the “Potomac Primaries” but will lose two large states in Pennsylvania and Ohio. These two are white, union states, where Clinton’s name and organization will carry the day and where she still has huge polling leads.The two states to watch are Wisconsin and Texas. Wisconsin is very independent leaning (a purple state) in which Obama is closing the gap. RealClearPolitics still has Clinton with a double digit lead in Texas, and it’s hard to see how Obama can win the nomination losing Texas, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Obama has done well in the south, but it has been done with the strength of the black vote. In Texas, there will be a large hispanic vote, where Clinton has had a huge edge over Obama so far.Also, Obama can’t just win the delegate count by a small margin, otherwise the superdelegates that Clinton has been lobbying for years will stay with her. Obama has to win by that much more to convince the superdelegates that supporting Clinton would spell disaster for them.

    1. Zaid

      The most troubling thing for Clinton is that more people get to know Obama, more they like him. This trend isn’t local to one region or demographic but across the board. With the big Hillary states slated for March, that gives Obama a lot of time to campaign heavily and catch up.State after state Obama has erased healthy Hillary lead into a win for himself, with Maine being the latest example. He was down by over 10 points on weeks ago.

    2. phoneranger

      “where she still has huge polling leads” please link to polls that support this. Haven’t seen any”it’s hard to see how Obama can win the nomination losing Texas, Ohio, and Pennsylvania” so to be clear if he DOESN’T lose all three, you will support Hillary’s withdrawal from the campaign?”but it has been done with the strength of the black vote” Something wrong with that?”Obama can’t just win the delegate count by a small margin” but implicitly you are saying that Hillary CAN?Disaster? If Obama has polling lead and delegate lead and supers go with Hiilary. That’s the perfect scenario.

  6. Mike Champion

    That wasn’t quite the quote from Obama about Google — it was: “There are a lot of companies that have been around longer than Google, but Google is performing”, in response to a question about experience.

    1. fredwilson

      Of course Lefsetz embellished itThat’s what I love about Bobfred

  7. Chipotle

    My only question is how does a tech savy person miss something on television?

  8. usedToGoogle

    Google has modified their do no evil motto to:You can make money without doing evil.

  9. Scott Rafer

    Defining “evil” either positively or negatively has no place in a democracy. Those judgments are how totalitarian societies are built. He merely needs to be truthful and protect the rights of the minority.

    1. fredwilson

      Does it have a place in business?

  10. Sam

    Andrew Sullivan has some interesting posts today discussing Clinton’s replacement of her campaign manager and the fact that they ran out of money so quickly. Given Clinton’s huge lead just a few months ago in virtually every state, doesn’t an argument about competence and/or experience have to factor in all of the missteps in her campaign, the gaffes and the subsequent reorg? Her “Ready on Day One” slogan seems weaker in this light.

  11. Crawford

    I don’t know how many of you have read Obama’s first book, but I recommend it. I got behind him a couple years ago, but not before reading everything I could to validate that he wasn’t just packaging. (In my view, he’s not. But that’s just my view).

  12. David B.

    I’m not interested in promises of “Do No Evil”. Obama’s record has confirmed it for me. And this is what changed me from being a Hillary supporter (which I was back in 1992 before she ran!), her record is atrocious. Every bad decision that Bush has made, she has supported. She voted for the war multiple times, the Patriot Act, etc. Her record says to me that she can say many things, but when we needed her, she wasn’t there. Obama was. That’s the difference for me.

  13. delaram

    Mir hossein mousavi is my president.