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President Obama comes to Bay Area to talk tech

Friday, February 18, 2011
Obama at SFO President Obama arrives in Bay Area President Barack Obama arrives at SFO FILE - President Barack Obama applauds in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011, during a 2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony.

President Barack Obama was in the Bay Area to meet with the nation's high tech brain trust and perhaps shore-up their all-important support. He had dinner in Woodside at the home of venture capitalist John Doerr.

President Barack Obama arrived at San Francisco International Airport right on schedule -- at 5:45 p.m. This is his eighth official visit to California and this time he was greeted by Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, Attorney General Kamala Harris and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee.

Less than 45 minutes later, the president's motorcade arrived at the Woodside home of venture capitalist John Doerr for a dinner and discussion with Silicon Valley's biggest names. It was an intimate gathering with about only a dozen people on the guest list. Among them were: Apple CEO Steve Jobs, Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Oracle's Larry Ellison, Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz and Cisco CEO John Chambers.

Stanford professor William Hurlbut lives behind the Doerr estate and was pleased to see the president in his neighborhood.

"It's a good thing for the president to get out in the communities that he serves and a lot of people in Woodside have a lot of influence in the direction of our country and it's a good thing to interact with them," said Hurlbut.

The White House said the purpose of the president's visit is to promote innovation and jobs in high tech and green tech. Obama wants to spend billions on clean energy, education, high-speed Internet and other programs and he's turning to Silicon Valley leaders for their support.

But many Republicans call this visit nothing more than a re-election campaign photo op, where the president is trying to reconnect with his donor base.

"The president obviously suffered, as he called it, a drubbing in the polls a few months ago and he's trying to lick his wounds I believe and regenerate support for what is being seen as a very troubled presidency at this time," said Harmeet Dhillon, chairperson of the San Francisco Republican Party.

The president is spending the night in a hotel on the peninsula and then on Friday will head to Oregon to an Intel plant.

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barack obama, local news, lilian kim
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