Since Google CEO Eric Schmidt was busy hanging out with ultimately successful Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama during the campaign, it comes as some surprise that the company has hired a longtime Republican operative as its new head of cooperate communications.
Jill Hazelbaker, who most recently helped Michael Bloomberg with his $100 million campaign to be reelected to a third term as New York City's mayor, will be replacing Matt Furman, who is leaving for another company on the East Coast.
Hazelbaker was also a communications consultant on Senator John McCain's successful bid for the Republican presidential nomination followed by his spectacularly unsuccessful bid to become president -- a bid that even campaign honcho Steve Schmidt has argued would have gone worse had they not signed hot media mess Sarah Palin to the ticket.
In the 2008 campaign, Googlers donated $408,713 to Democratic candidates and only $52,327 to Republicans, according to the Fundrace Campaign Donor database.
Hazelbaker had the challenging assignment of defending Palin's experience to the national media. During the campaign, she said Obama couldn't match Palin's resume.
Awkward, especially when Google is trying to get the Obama administration to go easy on it in antitrust investigations.
So either Google is getting wise and putting some money on the other horse in our perennial two-horse races, or Hazelbaker has gotten wise and dumped a Republican party fractured between establishment moderates like McCain and hard-line conservatives like Palin.
Jackson West figures everyone involved is just following the money.