Former President Barack Obama tried to pay a quiet visit to Silicon Valley in the late afternoon on Sunday as a private citizen to meet with tech leaders, perhaps to consider his future options.
The San Jose Business Journal speculated that after having lunch in Omaha, Nebraska with multi-billionaire investor Warren Buffett, Obama was trying to make a stealth visit to Silicon Valley to begin the next chapter of his life as a tech player.
Tech confidants had arrived for what Obama had probably intended to be a covert meeting at the Fairmont Hotel in downtown San Jose. But the combination of Secret Service agents, bomb-sniffing dogs, and the former president’s motorcade of SUVs tipped off the media, according to NBC Bay Area.
Breitbart News has reported in the past that Silicon Valley tech was almost as financially important as Wall Street to Barack Obama’s fundraising efforts. Tech donated a record $64.1 million in the 2012 Presidential cycle, up from $17.8 million in 2008, according to OpenSecrets.org. The non-partisan campaign trackers commented: “Tech stepped up to help fill the void — expanding an already significant presence in Obama’s fundraising portfolio from 2008.”
According to the New York Times, many of the former president’s key advisors are now important players in the Left Coast’s tech scene. Obama’s 2008 campaign manager, David Plouffe, is at Uber; his former press secretary, Jay Carney, is at Amazon; his former communications director, Dan Pfeiffer, is at GoFundMe; and his EPA director, Lisa Jackson, is at Apple. The Times has also documented 10 trips by the representatives of the Obama Foundation to Silicon Valley.
While still in office and just before the election, President Obama guest-edited the November edition of virally popular Wired magazine. In a personal message, Obama claimed that America is living in is greatest time in history. But Obama may have foreshadowed his future when he added, “I still believe science and technology is the warp drive that accelerates that kind of change for everybody.”
The ex-president is only 55 years old and continues to be very popular. According to the 2017 WalletHub Tax Survey, taxpayers rate former president Barack Obama as their most popular public figure, with 56 percent approval. That was 6 percent better than Pope Francis and substantially higher than the 30 percent for President Trump as the third most popular public figure.
Obama’s editorial in Wired claimed that there are important challenges ahead for our society such as climate change, economic inequality, cybersecurity, terrorism and gun violence. The President claimed that to resolve these issues, “we need science.”