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Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Obama Brings Innovation Pitch To Silicon Valley Execs

Ankit Tyagi |
February 16, 2011 | 11:02 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

President Barack Obama is visiting Silicon Valley on Thursday for a dinner with the area's tech industry executives, including Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Apple CEO Steve Jobs, and many more. Their goal is to discuss "education, innovation, and green technology," according to Steve Westly, a Bay Area venture capitalist. 

Steve Jobs on another medical leave of absence and still visiting with Obama adds an extra buzz to the talks. Meanwhile, Schmidt is set to leave his CEO position in April, when Larry Page will take over. Schmidt advised Obama on tech issues during his campaign.

This meeting continues to push President Obama's State of the Union message, urging the country to innovate as well as focus on education and more readily available green technology. Obama's also scheduled to see California Attorney General Kamala Harris, whom he campaigned for back in October. She's considered a rising star in the Democratic ranks and any chance to be seen alongside Obama will continue to boost her national profile.

After Thursday's dinner, Obama will head to Oregon to Intel's campus to discuss science, technology, engineering and math education. 

This will be President Obama's eighth trip to California, most of which have been fundraising trips. 

Neon Tommy attempted to contact several Bay Area tech industry donors to Obama's 2008 campaign, including Cisco's Stephen Schleimer, Microsoft's Jason S. Loveman and ZiLog's Kamlapati Khalsa. None of them returned calls and e-mails seeking to chat about their outlook of the tech industry.

The computer/Internet inustry donated nearly $9 million to Obama's 2008 campaign, though still chump change compared to the $750 million Obama raised overall.

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