Sunday, May 6, 2007

Googling McCain

In addition to all of the other perks available to Google employees, they now a chance to personally question presidential candidates:

How do you determine good ways of sorting 1 million 32-bit integers in two megabytes of RAM?
That's the first question asked of Senator John McCain by Google chief executive Eric Schmidt. It was a humorous icebreaker that received laughs from the Google geeks and McCain.

Google has invited all the major candidates. McCain was the second candidate to accept Senator Clinton was interviewed February.

After the opening brainteaser, Schmidt asked about McCain's Vietnam War combat and POW experiences. The Googlers wanted to talk about Iraq:
The candidate delivered a well-worn but impassioned defense of the policy, guaranteeing that "if we have to withdraw on a date-certain, there will be chaos, genocide and other nations in the region will be drawn in."

Schmidt did not challenge this view, but one of his subordinates did.

Why discount the possibility that no one will win the war, the worker asked.

"Any rational observer would say that if the war's lost, then someone won the war," McCain responded. "Al-Qaida will win that war."
The Google interviews, along with the use of YouTube, represent an interesting new dynamic in political campaigns. The Internet obviously makes it easier for candidates to reach certain groups, but controlling the message becomes more difficult. Just ask former Senator Allen.

You can find the McCain and Hillary interviews at YouTube:

Senator McCain Interview

Senator Clinton Interview

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