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High concept

By Michael J. Smith on Wednesday March 28, 2007 11:42 PM

Silicon Valley Not So Sure of This Clinton
Concerned About Senator's Leanings, Some of Her Husband's Supporters Defect to Obama

SUNNYVALE, Calif. -- For a woman striving to shatter the ultimate glass ceiling, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is getting a surprising rap among some here in Silicon Valley: "old-guard." This is Clinton-Gore country -- or it was once. Now, several of former President Bill Clinton's earliest and biggest fund-raisers -- such as Sandy Robertson, founder of investment bank Robertson Stephens and a partner at technology buyout firm Francisco Partners; and Steve Westly, an ex-eBay Inc. executive and former controller for California -- have defected to Illinois Sen. Barack Obama. Others, including venture-capitalist John Doerr and Apple Inc. boss Steve Jobs, are staying conspicuously neutral, possibly waiting to see if their friend Al Gore enters the race.

"Barack Obama may just be the man of our times," says Mr. Robertson, one of President Clinton's largest fund-raisers throughout the 1990s.... Up the highway in San Francisco, Sen. Clinton enjoys backing from traditional Democratic donors like real-estate magnate Walter Shorenstein and Susie Tompkins Buell, co-founder of clothing retailer Esprit de Corp.

But here and in places like Hollywood and Wall Street, Sen. Clinton appears to be having problems matching Sen. Obama's success at connecting with newly wealthy younger people -- a potential pitfall for her as the candidates enter the final week of fund-raising for the first quarter.

Some of Silicon Valley's business-minded Democrats, citing health-care proposals Sen. Clinton made while first lady, worry she is too ideological and would govern from the left.

Jeez, that's a good one, isn't it?
"Silicon Valley invests in high-powered intellects who are effective at bringing big new ideas to market," says Frederick Baron, a lawyer and Obama fund-raiser who spent two years in the Clinton Justice Department. "In the lexicon of high tech, Barack Obama is the next-generation solution."

Sen. Obama is particularly popular among techies under age 35, a largely untapped market for political cash. Organizers say about a quarter of the 700 guests at a recent $1,000-a-plate fund-raiser for the 45-year-old senator were under 35. "It's exciting to see a candidate younger than our parents," says 23-year-old Joe Green, an Internet entrepreneur who brought 10 friends to the event

These California guys are surprisingly easy to excite. They need to get out more.

But of course the guys, being guys, are hopeless by definition. Giddy, metrosexual flibbertygibbets, every man Jack of 'em. The girls are a lot more solid. The bourgeois virtues have been, it seems, re-gendered:

[Hillary] is building her own Silicon Valley network, led by the growing ranks of women executives at technology companies, supporters say. "Hillary's been in or near public service for 20 or 30 years; that kind of experience is important for running a country," says Sheryl Sandberg, a senior Google Inc. executive and Clinton campaign fund-raiser, who was chief of staff for former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers.
That must be a hell of a girl. She worked for Larrry "chicks-don't-get-science" Summers? My hat's off to her, and not just because I'm a Southern gentleman.
Many Silicon Valley Democrats say they had hoped former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner would enter the race. A Southern moderate, he earned his fortune investing in cellular phone companies. But when he and another favored centrist, Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh, decided not to run -- and Sen. Obama went for it -- "the real movers in political fund raising suddenly rallied to Obama," says Mr. Baron, the Silicon Valley lawyer and a veteran political bundler.

... Sen. Obama's supporters acknowledge their candidate is largely untested on policy matters, and there is no certainty that he would be more conservative than Sen. Clinton on health care, tort reform or fiscal policy. It is his persona, they say, that is generating excitement.

"No one's calling me about Barack's stands on business or tech issues," says John Roos, the Obama point man in Silicon Valley and chief executive of the law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati....

Sen. Clinton's supporters say the attraction is sure to wear thin. They also say the former first lady has gotten a bum rap as an old-guard liberal. "She was far less of a policy person than people think," says David Barram, a former chief financial officer of Apple and senior Clinton administration official.

I think Brother Paine may be on to something. Hillary. She's just so... played. To borrow an expression as dated as Hillary herself.

Comments (1)


not so fast !!!!

Barracks Bon-oboe
be done for....

its rumoured
he possed for
the controversial bare naked
anatomically hyperbolic
chocolate jesus
on exhibit now
at liberal madness' site

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