SAN JOSE, Calif. â€” President Barack Obama on Monday carried his job-creation crusade into the heart of Silicon Valley, a corner of the country that compared with other regions has done pretty well at job creation on its own.
At a town-hall meeting with social-media powerhouse LinkedIn dubbed â€œPutting America Back to Work,â€ the president was relaxed and often jovial as he took questions from the audience, using the event at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View as a bully pulpit to pitch his $447 billion plan to create 1.9 million jobs renovating the nationâ€™s roads, airports and railways.
Seeming just as pumped up as the crowd of LinkedIn members and guests, Obama started with some serious ego-stroking, saying every time he comes to Silicon Valley, â€œI am excited about Americaâ€™s future because no part of the country better represents the essence of America. If youâ€™ve got a good idea and are willing to put in the blood, sweat and tears to make it happen, you can do it. That driving spirit has made America a superpower.â€
For the next hour, Obama fielded a half-dozen questions, some from the live audience and others that had been previously submitted online. At times, he spent as much as 10 minutes on a single answer, particularly those concerning the need to make Americaâ€™s education system more globally competitive.
His message was clear: put people back to work now, but in coming years do whatâ€™s necessary to ensure that America stays competitive.
â€œWeâ€™ve got a short-term challenge, of how do we put people back to work,â€ the president told the crowd.