Ah well. A dirty one-percenter would say that, wouldn’t he?
Out: Steve Jobs, technological genius. In: Steve Jobs, political genius?
Jobs, who was known for his prickly, stubborn personality, almost missed meeting President Obama in the fall of 2010 because he insisted that the president personally ask him for a meeting. Though his wife told him that Obama “was really psyched to meet with you,” Jobs insisted on the personal invitation, and the standoff lasted for five days. When he finally relented and they met at the Westin San Francisco Airport, Jobs was characteristically blunt. He seemed to have transformed from a liberal into a conservative.
“You’re headed for a one-term presidency,” he told Obama at the start of their meeting, insisting that the administration needed to be more business-friendly. As an example, Jobs described the ease with which companies can build factories in China compared to the United States, where “regulations and unnecessary costs” make it difficult for them.
Jobs also criticized America’s education system, saying it was “crippled by union work rules,” noted Isaacson. “Until the teachers’ unions were broken, there was almost no hope for education reform.” Jobs proposed allowing principals to hire and fire teachers based on merit, that schools stay open until 6 p.m. and that they be open 11 months a year.
Jobs suggested that Obama meet six or seven other CEOs who could express the needs of innovative businesses — but when White House aides added more names to the list, Jobs insisted that it was growing too big and that “he had no intention of coming.” In preparation for the dinner, Jobs exhibited his notorious attention to detail, telling venture capitalist John Doerr that the menu of shrimp, cod and lentil salad was “far too fancy” and objecting to a chocolate truffle dessert. But he was overruled by the White House, which cited the president’s fondness for cream pie.
Alternate headline: “Obama gets great advice from only man in America whose ego was bigger than his.” Follow the link and you’ll see that, alas, Jobs hadn’t really transformed from a liberal into conservative. In fact, he wanted to craft political ads for Obama but, control freak that he was, got irritated when Axelrod “wasn’t deferential enough.” That makes sense to me stylistically even more so than politically. The One was like a living, breathing Apple product when Hopenchange fever took off in 2008. Hip, sleek, brimming with “breakthrough” buzz — in practice, even by his own reckoning, he operated as a screen each of his fans could use for their own purposes. He was the iBama. And then he pushed the stimulus and ObamaCare and suddenly the iBama presidency was bricked. Of the many tragic aspects of Jobs’s early passing, one of the minor ones is that we’ll never get to see those iBama ads. Or, of course, whether Jobs’s insights about regulation and unions would have led him down a different path politically in the years to come.
Via Greg Hengler, here’s the iBama now reduced to encouraging people to clap at his applause lines. All that’s missing is the “sad Mac” icon.