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LinkenIn Corp Jeff Weiner and U.S. President Barack Obama field a question from the audience during town hall meeting hosted by LinkedIn at the Computer History Museum.
11:55 a.m. - President tout of work questioner, recently layer off from IT job. "The problem is the economy, it's not you.". Says we'll keep unemployment insurance there as a safe net. Now getting to concluding remarks from both President and LinkedIn CEO. Weiner thanks Obama for coming by and encouraging people.President tells crowd (after applause) to hang in there - says he appeciates LinkedIn for doing this.Admits this is a tough time, but says we've been there before, and that trend of economy is going to improve, thanks in part to technology.
11:45 a.m. - We need a "modern economy:" better education, and more financial support from those who make a lot of money. Re: education question, Obama says there is a connection between education system and our economic success .. And, he says, we're not doing right by our students. The rest of the world has caught up.
11:30 a.m. - Next question from "guy down the street" (Google): "Mr. President, please raise my taxes."
11:22 a.m. - Obama takes online question about small business. Says he feels there should be no taxes on startups (wouldn't that be embraced here in Silicon Valley?), and less regulation? - Well, he says, some regulation is needed to avoid repeat of housing/financial mess.
11:16 a.m. - So far, questions are from people looking for work. Obama to someone nervous about her out of work mother: "social security will stay around .. Medicare is a bigger issue." Admits health care still expensive, and still messy. Says we "need to reduce costs."
11:10 a.m. - Question 1 for Mr. Obama from a man out of work for 9 months. Obama says his story makes job act necessary.Admits that not everyone is sold on it, but says Recovery Act & small business tax cuts were helpful, but with housing problems and slow hiring, more work needs to be done.
11:06 a.m. - The President has just entered the room .. Security has told everyone to stay in place and not move (small room). Still, Mr. Obama is moving around, saying hello to LinkedIn employees gathered for the Town Hall. Ready to go ...
11:05 a.m. - President Obama walks in & greets the crowd (photo on Twitter: @scottbudman). Says tech is key to job growth. Also says he faces a big challenge from Congress in passing his Jobs Act. Says he'll take questions from crowd & online.
10:59 a.m. - LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner speaking to the crowd, about the importance of tech jobs and social networks. He's about to introduce the President.
10:27 a.m. - We just got our "event about to start" warning .. Even though the President is not expected until 11 am. Maybe a LinkedIn introduction? Or, could this be the first Presidential Event to actually start early? Everyone is in place now. Small room, but big buzz for the event.
9:46 a.m. - The White House press corps coming in now .. Familiar faces, that we'll be seeing even more often on the campaign trail.I wonder how long into a Bay Area visit about jobs before Solyndra is brought up...or green tech in general.LinkedIn, along with Facebook, Apple, Zynga, etc., all deal with tech that's not as "clean." Can the President still stress green tech?
9:36 a.m. - Just got security checked, and inside the very small room where The President will try and convince Internet users and job seekers that he can create jobs. It will be interesting to see how this goes over here in Silicon Valley, the one place actually hiring these days. Lots of Presidential security (dogs, etc) as we wait for Mr. Obama
Silicon Valley Likes President Barack Obama
We've written before about how crucial Silicon Valley is to President Obama. As Bill Clinton courted Hollywood, and as George W. Bush courted the military, so does Barack Obama come back to his main base - wealthy technology executives in Silicon Valley.
With Solyndra's bankruptcy, dropping poll numbers and a still uncertain economy, the going has gotten tough for the President, and in turn, he'll get going to Silicon Valley. This time around, a town hall meeting focusing on job creation, in the one place that's still doing it.
Fittingly, the town hall is being sponsored by a Silicon Valley success story known for putting people to work. LinkedIn will put it all together, its neighbor the Computer History Museum will act as host. This could be a bit risky, as Obama wants to steer voters towards believing that innovation ahd new jobs are part of America's future, not just an exhibit of what used to be.
The last couple of times we saw the President here, he was dining with tech executives and wooing the Facebook crowd. Shortly thereafter, the President's Council on Job Creation came to the Valley to ask more tech leaders how they do it - this area is hiring, while the rest of the country is struggling to get back to work.
This time around, the focus will again be on jobs - and, again look for Washington to ask the question, "How does the Valley do it?"
Scott will be reporting on the President's visit via Twitter: @scottbudman