In The Audacity of Hope, Barack Obama called his 2004 visit to the Googleplex the "most memorable part" of a trip to California. Google's salespeople are planning to make sure he doesn't forget it.
Google already has an office in Washington, D.C., where its lobbyists cool their heels. But today, the overgrown search engine opened up a 30-Googler outpost in the part of town where the real money is made — Reston, Va., part of the string of office parks which runs from the Potomac to Dulles International, home to an endless number of government contractors.
The federal government has jumped on the outsourcing trend, and hands out contracts left and right to outfits which do work so government employees don't have to. Google's hoping to score some of that cash. It doesn't have much to offer: custom website search tools, Google Maps, and Web-based email and office apps are about it. None of them have proven to be big moneymakers for Google.
Not that it matters! Just having an office in the area to act as a cash bucket is all Google needs to do. Our president-to-be has long had a mancrush on Google. Besides writing it up in his book, Obama modeled his campaign operations after Google, chose the Googleplex as the site where he unveiled his "innovation agenda," and appointed Google CEO Eric Schmidt to a council of economic advisors. When Obama unveils his Works Progress Administration 2.0, you know Larry and Sergey will somehow get a piece. Why not? Google seems to get a cut of all the rest of the action.
Here's a clip of Obama at Google in 2007: