Will Schmidts Lobbying Blow Up in Googles Face?
I also believe Schmidt is sincere when he says his involvement with Obama is a personal choice, but I've no doubt he will use his time with Obama to lead him to Google's point of view on technological issues.
He may use the time to sow more seeds about greater open access for wireless devices, or perhaps laws that let Google continue running its advertising business unfettered.
He may convince Obama that Google isn't infringing on our privacy, and may in fact convince him that contextual advertising is good for advertisers and consumers, since it improves ad relevancy.
In short, Schmidt could use his time on the campaign trail to show what a good guy he is, and by extension, just how great Google is for stimulating the U.S. economy. After all, while eBay, possibly Yahoo and other smaller Internet businesses are laying people off during this recession, Google is seemingly immune.
This isn't the first or last time companies and political parties would align. AT&T and other phone carriers seem to be leaning toward McCain and the Republican campaign. Schmidt and Obama share similar personal views on technology, including on network neutrality, while companies such as AT&T are scared to death of Obama's position.
As Dallasnews.com noted Sunday, a network neutrality law would impose strict rules on how companies manage traffic on their networks, which could force AT&T and other carriers to offer free services marketed by competitors such as Google.
But if Schmidt lobbies for Obama and Obama loses to McCain, what happens then? Does McCain, out of some zealous vengeance, go after Google? Do he and his party craft superstringent online privacy rules that bind Google's ability to grow?
Does McCain pressure the Department of Justice to manage Google's pending deal with Yahoo, or prevent similar deals from going forward in the future?
These are issues that bear watching as we hurtle toward the presidential election Nov. 4.