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Bill Gates Says He's Open to a Role Helping Obama Admin


Bill Gates delivers remarks and answers questions on how his foundation is working to fight poverty during a visit to George Washington University. (Bill O'Leary / The Washington Post)

By Philip Rucker
Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who is in Washington this week to press his foundation's education and global health agenda, said he is keeping an open mind about taking a role aiding the incoming Obama administration.

Asked in an interview yesterday with The Washington Post whether he would consider serving in the new administration, Gates left the door open.

"Certainly my full-time job is being chairman of the foundation," Gates said. "If there was some committee or pretty focused task where I could contribute, I'd be glad to consider that, and I hope that the things we've learned about education -- including the mistakes we've made -- I hope we do get a strong dialogue and I'm very optimistic we'll have that with these people."

Kicking off that dialogue, Gates met with Vice President-elect Joe Biden at Obama's Washington transition headquarters yesterday afternoon. A transition official said Biden and Gates discussed "a wide range of issues, including global health and development, as well as the need to improve resources for secondary education, particularly for community colleges."

And Gates described to the incoming vice president the work of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which is the world's largest charitable foundation, built with the personal fortunes of Gates and billionaire investor Warren Buffett, a long-time Obama supporter who also acts as an economic adviser to the president-elect.

Before meeting with Biden, Gates delivered a policy address at George Washington University yesterday in which he called on Obama to increase deficit spending to stimulate the economy and help the country's most vulnerable residents.

By Web Politics Editor  |  December 4, 2008; 12:41 PM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama , Cast of Characters  
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Comments

First of all Bill Gates became rich long before the launch of windows and it was not stolen from Apple. They both studied and learned about GUI's at XeroxPARC in Palo Alto CA.

He bought an operating system by the name of CPM, modified the code some and changed the name to Disk Operating System (DOS).

I think that someone who has done as much good for the educational system should be spoken about favorably.

It would help if you learned to spell also, it's called LINUX.

Posted by: wposton723 | December 9, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Gates, it would be GREAT if you are invited to join PE Obama's team. Also, I would like to thank you and Melinda for the work you're doing with your foundation.

I think that you would be an excellent addition to PE O's team with your expertise in education, economics and technology - bringing ALL of our country into the 21st century in technology. It's shocking to see that there are so many sectors that are still not there yet, even though your contributed greatly in providing the technology. People are still afraid of changes I guess.

To all the nay-sayers to the idea of Mr. Gate's possibilities of a post on PE O's team because he was smart enough to make a lot of money from his technical visions, I say get over it!! There is not one of us who if given the same circumstances, would not have profited from our vision.

Thank you Bill and Melinda Gates!!!

Posted by: ToniB1 | December 5, 2008 4:26 AM | Report abuse

Bill Gates, Sir, Please consider interfacing with the next administration. I feel your presence as one of the last true capitalists would be very much what this country needs to pull itself up by it's "bootstraps" Kidding aside. America needs to be profitable. We must earn our rights to be first in the global economy.
As we have in the past, and as we will in the future.
Profits are are prophecy
gmail sir is where I am at

Posted by: mrjoel59 | December 5, 2008 12:51 AM | Report abuse

Talk about a team of rivals: Bill Gates on one side and Eric Schmidt of Google on the other side of the table!

Posted by: lowcg | December 4, 2008 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Bill says we should give our wealth to Education and other countries so they can have our prosperity

Brilliant, America has no jobs and no money to qualify for loans for houses, cars, etc.

The rich and corporation pay little tax while working people pay not only income and payroll tax.

This leave little money for education and other countries.

Will the patent on Bill's PC ever run out

Posted by: StupidDoesNotWork | December 4, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

However Gates made his money, his foundation is now doing incredible things in an effective way. And I'd feel much more comfortable with him in government rather than combing the Arabian Horse society for talent. While I can never truly forgive Gates for the creation of that animated paperclip, he should be given credit for his foundation's approach of attacking problems that no one else is addressing, and for getting maximum human benefit from money.

Posted by: Snig | December 4, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

The Gates family has always had a reasonable public policy stance. As a business Microsoft is ruthless and often anticompetitive, but regarding sealing the desktop from apple - get your facts straight - it is pretty well known, that whole technology was stolen by apple from Xerox.

Posted by: brianb2 | December 4, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

oh yeah baby...
Bill Gates has turned into a very good looking man.
He used to be the nerdy type.
I saw him on GPS with Fareed Zakaria about 3 weeks ago. He has really aged well in my book. Cutest "pirate grin" I have ever seen on a guy.
His partner, Peter Allen, started a foundation to study the brain. Giving alot of money to that issue.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | December 4, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

The main reason Gates shipped jobs offshore was because the Congress couldnt get off their collective ass to pass an immigration bill. If the caveats regarding immigration were lifted, Gates would keep these great IT jobs here in the States.

Posted by: mnbucklew | December 4, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Why all of the hate for Bill? Is it his fault that America does not invest in the education of their young people like India does? Is it his fault that America is ranked 14th or whatever in math and science? Or is that the fault of government who refuses to prepare the next generation for a 21st century economy? If mac is so creative why haven't they come up with any competition to microsoft office? Even if all PC's had mac. They would still run Microsoft Office. He is a genuine American success story, and should be commended for his achievements. He is an innovator and a brilliant business man. Stop hating.

Posted by: ne_voice | December 4, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Bill Gates never ran to Washington with a tin cup in hand...and I believe he and others at the time are THE VISIONARY MINDS behind the TECHNOLOGY ERA
-------
Microsoft has become stagnant, technology has become stagnant, really, a 90's thing.

Why?

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | December 4, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Bill Gates never ran to Washington with a tin cup in hand...and I believe he and others at the time are THE VISIONARY MINDS behind the TECHNOLOGY ERA, for GLOBAL USE. It would be rediculous for anyone to NOT want to PICK the brain of brilliance with such visionary thinking. My take on Obama is that Obama IS to politics what Bill Gates was to the future technology. If Obama and his teams do even 1/2 as well as Gates did for technology...I have GREAT HOPE for future generations around the world.

Posted by: Judy4 | December 4, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

That Harvard dropout popularized personal computers in ways Apple never could. He's doing good deeds for the global society now. I'm glad he DROPPED OUT of school instead of earning PhDs and became one of thousands know-it-all high-browed academics.
---------

Then why does he have to treat his American work force like sh*t?

Seems to me a competent manager looks past short term gain, understanding the consequences of outsourcing.

And as long as we're talking tech (sic), google needs some competition, badly.

Why haven't the other search engines kept up, innovating?

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | December 4, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Show this high-tech clown the door, Obama. From the mid-90s to recently, this guy was one of the major political forces that pushed through legislation that gave tax cuts to his company to off-shore thousands of software jobs to India and provided huge H1B quotas so he could hire thousands of cheap Indian software engineers. This all caused a near-depression in the American software industry during 2001-2004 with 10's of thousands of American software developers being laid off and driven out of their careers, and resulted in a large decline of college students majoring in computer science. 'Gates' and 'greed' are merely synonyms.

Posted by: toketeeman | December 4, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

If I were a Billionaire, I would hope to have the Presidents ear.

I think Mr. Microsoft could help by stopping shipping jobs overseas.

Posted by: gaia_terra7 | December 4, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Learn to use spell-check before trolling online, buddy! That Harvard dropout popularized personal computers in ways Apple never could. He's doing good deeds for the global society now. I'm glad he DROPPED OUT of school instead of earning PhDs and became one of thousands know-it-all high-browed academics.

Posted by: linux_fan | December 4, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Learn to use spell-check before trolling online, buddy! That Harvard dropout popularized personal computers in ways Apple never could. He's doing good deeds for the global society now. I'm glad he DROPPED OUT of school instead of earning PhDs and became one of thousands know-it-all high-browed academics.

Posted by: linux_fan | December 4, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Moving on to the *real* issues beyond the Apple and Microsoft wars :-) ... I must say that I'm pleased to see the Gates Foundation taking an active role in U.S. Policy, particularly in regards to education. You can read more details of their position on education in the press release from the Gates Foundation's website. Gates' interest in helping our nation's most vulnerable citizens obtain an education is so important, especially when we have so many talented Americans—who are minorities, or come from low-income households, or are first-generation immigrants—who don't have the access to resources (financial and other) to complete their education and even go on to college. The Gates Foundation has it right with their claim that “we must ensure that all students have access to a high-quality education while dramatically increasing the number of low-income youth who graduate from high school ready to succeed in college and earn postsecondary degrees.” I have high hopes for the new administration, and I believe they will heed Gates’ suggestions to focus on education and helping those most in need in our country.

Posted by: writingteacher | December 4, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Bill,

But how about if you just made VISTA stop- crashing my laptop instead?

Posted by: JohnQuimby | December 4, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Bill Gates is not a genius, he is a thief.

He dropped out of school, stole from Apple, then created a monopoly with software that still does not work. No wonder FREE Open Source software is becoming more popular.

Do we really need more of the same in Washington? I think not!

Screw Windows and Microsoft Office.

Get FREE LINEX and FREE Open Office on line today!

OpenOffice.Org

Posted by: kevinschmidt | December 4, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

BUT OBAMANAUTS ARE APPLE COMPUTER PEOPLE!

Posted by: scrivener50 | December 4, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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