Steve Jobs to Obama: 'You're headed for a one-term presidency'

Steve Jobs, the late CEO of Apple, warned Obama a year ago that reelection was at risk if he did not make his administration more business-friendly, according to reports about the new Jobs biography.

Pete Souza/The White House/Reuters/File
President Obama (2nd r.) joins a toast with Technology Business Leaders at a dinner in Woodside, Calif., in February. Steve Jobs (3rd r.), the late CEO of Apple, attended the meeting of technology industry leaders with President Obama and other members of the Silicon Valley elite.

Who knew that, among his many talents, Steve Jobs was also a wannabe political strategist?

A new biography of the late CEO of Apple, obtained early by multiple news outlets, reveals that Mr. Jobs told President Obama a year ago that he was “headed for a “one-term presidency” if he did not make his administration more business-friendly.

Jobs, who passed away Oct. 5, also offered to help Mr. Obama create political ads for his 2012 campaign. “He had made the same offer in 2008, but he’d become annoyed when Obama’s strategist David Axelrod wasn’t totally deferential,” author Walter Isaacson writes, according to the Huffington Post.

Mr. Isaacson says Jobs told him he wanted to do for Obama what “morning in America” had done for President Reagan’s reelection in 1984.

“Steve Jobs,” due out on Oct. 24, is based on more than three dozen interviews with the CEO. In Jobs’s meeting with Obama, held at the Westin San Francisco Airport in the fall of 2010, he told the president that setting up factories in China was easier than in the United States, where “regulations and unnecessary costs” make it difficult. Jobs also criticized the American education system, calling it “crippled by union work rules.”

Jobs dined with Obama in Silicon Valley last February, along with 11 other technology leaders, including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Google CEO Eric Schmidt. Jobs sat next to Obama, as shown in a widely circulated photo of the event. According to Isaacson’s book, Jobs had suggested to Obama that he meet with CEOS to discuss business and innovation.

Isaacson describes a prickly relationship between Jobs and Obama, who kept in touch and occasionally spoke on the phone. And for Obama, it turns out “Yes We Can” may have been just slogan, at least in Jobs’s view. The tech guru once told Isaacson he was infuriated by Obama’s focus on why things can’t get done.

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