Society

Obama Meets With Silicon Valley Business Leaders

| by Ray Brown

Former President Barack Obama traveled to the San Francisco area to meet with tech industry leaders.

The meeting took place at the Fairmont hotel in downtown San Jose, KNTV reported. But details of the meeting, including the reason and what was discussed, hav not yet been reported.

It was Obama's first visit to the area since leaving the White House in January.

Back in October 2016, Obama hinted that he was entertaining the idea of working in the tech industry after his tenure as president.

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"I’m a nerd, and I don’t make any apologies for it," Obama told The New York Times after a faux shuttle flight. "It’s cool stuff. And it is that thing that sets us apart, that ability to imagine and hypothesize, and then test and figure stuff out, and tinker and make things and make them better, and then break them down and rework them."

The Obama White House has been a breeding ground for future tech industry executives, as Silicon Valley leaders have consistently hired ex-politicos from the Obama team to work for them.

As The New York Times pointed out, David Plouffe, Obama’s 2008 campaign operative, now works for Uber; former Obama press secretary Jay Carney works at Amazon, which is also owned by Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos; former Obama communications manager, Dan Pfeiffer, works for GoFundMe; Lisa Jackson, former Secretary of the Environmental Protection Agency under Obama, is an executive at Apple; and in July 2016, AirBnB hired Obama's former Attorney General Eric Holder to lead its anti-discrimination division.

While it's possible Obama quietly takes a job in the private sector, others expect him to remain a political asset to the Democratic Party, especially now that President Donald Trump aims to demolish much of Obama's work while in office.

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"Obama's post-presidency just got exponentially more interesting," said Cody Foster, a University of Kentucky historian who has studied the post-presidential lives of former presidents, according to USA Today. "Whereas he might have focused on building upon policies created during his administration, he must now defend his administration's legacy."

He added: "Every policy, every veto, every word must now be carefully defended against an incoming leader eager to blindly press 'undo' on everything that Obama created. And President Trump can do that because he has a Republican Congress and is likely to have a more conservative Supreme Court."

Sources: KNTV, The New York Times, USA Today (2) / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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