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President Obama acknowledges early access to iPad

updated 09:40 am EDT, Tue October 4, 2011

Tablet came straight from Jobs

US President Barack Obama received early access to the iPad, an ABC interview reveals. Obama is well known for carrying an iPad around with him, but the circumstances around how he got it have usually gone unmentioned. "[Former Apple CEO] Steve Jobs actually gave it to me, a little bit early. Yeah, it was cool. I got it directly from him," he admits in the interview.

Obama last publicly met Jobs in February, when the two attended a special dinner with other tech industry magnates including Google's Eric Schmidt and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg. Also present was another representative from Apple, board member Arthur Levinson, likely there because of his normal job as the chairman of Genentech. Whether Jobs gave Obama an iPad 2 at the time is unknown, although the tablet's official launch would've been less than a month away.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. Inkling

    Senior User

    Joined: Jul 2006


    The Geek Syndrome?

    Was Steve Jobs one of the millions taken in by the media image of Obama that's now slipping down our collective memory hole? That's what this odd move by the hyper-secrative Jobs suggests. And has he come to regret that enthusiasm? Who knows? Like I said, he is secretive.

    Three years ago at least a third the cars in 'blue' Seattle where I live proudly bore Obama-Biden stickers. Now they're so rare, I'm almost startled to see one. That excitement never made sense to me. I could see from the very beginning that Obama was what his 20-year political resume said he was, a not very talented Chicago machine politician.

    Is there something about geeks and techie-sorts that makes them politically naive like this? In the 1992 election I was working for a biotech firm with numerous PhDs in biochemistry. I was amazed that many of them were planning to vote for the now forgotten Ross Perot. Talking with them, I' eventually concluded that there was something being geeky and hyper-scientific that made it hard for them to be a good judge of people.

    Think of it as the tail end of the autism-to-aspergers-to-geek spectrum. Geeks like computer games because the characters in those games are like laws in science. They are machine-coded and signal what they are very obviously. They don't required the sorts of judgments dealing with real people requires. And that same judgement deficiency shows up in how many of them vote. Gore, the ultimate geek himself, in 2000. Kerry, a political non-entity if there ever was one, in 2004, and then this enthusiasm for an oddity named Obama in 2008.

  1. TheSnarkmeister

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2007


    And what was Jobs looking for in return?

    Ah, remember the good old days when presidents were just citizens like the rest of us? Ah, well maybe most of us don't. President John Adams, when he left the White House at the end of his term, took a hourse-drawn public bus from the White House. It was in England, where the King lived, that people offered up special privileges to the "Sovereign" in the hopes of incurring special favors and royal charters.

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