Google CEO Backs Obama

October 20th, 2008 at 12:00 am

barack obama, presidential elections, campaign, google, eric schmidt, capitol hill, congress, politics

I’ve always considered the web a wild west where outlaws and sheriffs drink in the same tavern and exchange tall tales.  This state of the web is apparent in the piracy of videos, music and written material.  that being said, I find it unusual for politics and the web to come together aside from news and comedy.

Today,  the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt is joining the campaign trail in support of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.  Mr Schmidt is the latest tech leader to join in the presidential race.  Several such executives advise Republican Sen. John McCain, including former eBay Inc. Chief Executive Meg Whitman, Cisco Systems Inc. Chairman and CEO John Chambers and ousted Hewlett-Packard Co. CEO Carly Fiorina.

Now, although Eric Schmidt is CEO of the largest internet company in the world, Google is still neutral.  Schmidt says that he is doing this personally.  When asked if Schmidt had any plans of going into politics he said, "Hell no, I’m actually very busy running Google."

Manya are speculating that Schmidt’s support for Obama may concern the many legal battles Google is facing.  Google is currently under a lot of scrutiny in the US congress.  The most recent issue is the Yahoo-Google ad deal that Capitol Hill is seeing to be monopolistic.  However, Mr. Schmidt’s entry into the Obama campaign has, according to him, nothing to do with that.  When asked about it he says, "My sense is, the Justice Department makes judgments on these issues independent of politics.  It would be unfair to Justice to imply [that supporting Sen. Obama] would make a difference."

So, on the record it looks like the web is still out of the politcal arena and remains to be a wild west.  It’s good that leaders like Schmidt are taking stands personally and leave their companies independent and neutral.  However, this support may have a slight chance that if elected, Obama could ask Schmidt to join his administration.  Of course that’s all speculation as of now.