Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Google (With a YouTube and Donald Trump Assist) Campaigns for "The Vote Hour"

Here’s an interesting video from The Vote Hour, which is trying to get CEOs to let employees take off an hour from work to vote in the upcoming elections.

But while the group is independent and bipartisan, it is also an effort that started at Google (GOOG).

From the About Us section of the Vote Hour site:

The Vote Hour sprung (as many things do at Google) from some very interesting research. After reading a report from the U.S. Census Bureau, a Googler noticed that in the 2004 Presidential election, the NUMBER ONE reason that registered voters didn’t make it out to the polls to vote was because they were ‘too busy’ or had conflicting work schedules.

So this person asked himself, ‘What if bosses around the country encouraged their employees to take an hour off to go vote? Would employees feel relaxed enough, even in this down economy, to leave work behind and go vote?’

It seemed logical that if nothing else, getting ‘permission’ from your boss to take an hour off would take one more excuse off the table. So this Googler sent an email to Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google Inc., who volunteered to record a message of support and encouraged some fellow CEOs to join him … and The Vote Hour was born.”

Schmidt, who recently went on the trail for Democratic Presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, is the first CEO featured in the video, along with a panoply of well-known execs, including a lot from tech (including eBay, Cisco, Symantec and Intel).

Also roped in, apparently for comic relief, is real estate mogul Donald Trump.

He is, as usual, quite funny in ordering his employees to take off “only one hour.”

Here’s the video:

(And here is a post about the effort on Google’s blog, posted by Andy Berndt, Managing Director of Google Creative Lab, and Katie Jacobs Stanton of its Elections team.)

Please see this disclosure related to me and Google.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik