Obama Meets With James Taggert and Oren Boyle

Amanda Carey via the Daily Caller:

On Wednesday, President Obama met with a group of about 20 CEOs in a five-hour long summit, reportedly in an attempt to soothe the souring relationship between big business and big government. From almost all accounts, the "charm offensive" was successful.

By the end, Boeing CEO John McNerney is reported to have said, "We all wanted to move beyond the talk that made this confrontational environment. We made our apologies." Honeywell International CEO David Cote said after the meeting, "Government is the enabler of business"¦Government and business need to work together."

What Cote did not mention is that his company has already been working closely with the Obama Administration, and was a major beneficiary of the Recovery Act "” as were many of the other companies represented. According toRecovery.gov, Honeywell received over $44 million in grants from the Department of Energy (DOE) for renewable energy initiatives. Honeywell also raked in more than $24 million in a variety of different government contracts from agencies like the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Department of Defense.

Can the Aviation Equalization of Opportunity Act be far behind?  The meeting of 19 CEO's and a leading VC (who feeds noisily at the green energy trough) sounds like the corporate state round-table.


  1. el coronado:

    do you mean the taggert & boyle from 'blazing saddles'? ("whut if me 'n' the boys was to shoot them [african-americans] **dead**, mister taggert? would that cheer you up?")

    you mean those guys?

  2. markm:

    EC, the (misspelled) names are from Atlas Shrugged.

  3. Ignoramus:

    I agree with the lede. Obama picked a friendly / co-opted line-up of CEOs so that he could claim Kumbaya with corporate America. I hope the chicken and fish entrees were worth the schlep to Washington.

    Here’s the full list:

    Greg Brown, Co-CEO, Motorola, Inc.
    John Chambers, Chairman & CEO, Cisco Systems Inc.
    Kenneth Chenault, CEO, American Express
    Dave Cote, Chairman, President & CEO, Honeywell International Inc
    Scott Davis, Chairman & CEO, UPS
    John Doerr, Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
    Mark Gallogly, Managing Partner & Co-Founder, Centerbridge Partners
    Lew Hay, Chairman & CEO, NextEra Energy
    Jeffrey Immelt, Chairman & CEO, General Electric
    Ellen Kullman, CEO, DuPont
    John Lechleiter, President and CEO, Eli Lilly
    Andrew Liveris, President, CEO and Chairman, Dow Chemical
    James McNerney, Chairman, President & CEO, Boeing
    Indra Nooyi, Chairman & CEO, PepsiCo
    Paul Otellini, CEO, Intel
    Penny Pritzker, Chairman & CEO, Pritzker Realty Group
    Brian Roberts, Chairman & CEO, Comcast
    Jim Rogers, Chairman, President & CEO, Duke Energy
    Eric Schmidt, Chairman & CEO, Google
    Robert Wolf, President & COO, UBS

    Why does this remind me of the scene in Godfather 2 where Cuban President Battista passes around the golden telephone? From where I sit, they're all part of the Borg.

    Penny Pritzker was an early Obama backer in Chicago.

    Google’s Schmidt is a big supporter too. Attorney General Eric Holder has shown him the draft DOJ antitrust charges against Google – they won’t be filed so long as Google plays ball.

    Comcast’s Brian Roberts will soon replace GE’s Jeff Immelt as boss of Keith and Rachel and Chris, as NBC Universal is being "sold" by GE to Comcast.

    Once upon a time, uber-VC firm Kleiner Perkins backed Silicon Valley tech start-ups. Today it’s “long” on China and Green, after having made Al Gore a partner. I couldn’t make that up if I tried.

    Brazil is going gangbusters with oil drilling – and other things too. So if you’re the head of PepsiCo, where are you to looking to hire and expand?

  4. DrTorch:

    There's always talk of making a film of Atlas Shrugged, I hear one is to be released next year, but I think some casting opportunities were lost.

    I'd like to have seen Shannon Dougherty (reputed to be 'conservative') as Dagny, and Antonio Banderas as Francisco. But, I think they're too old now.

    I also think Taggart has to have evolved into an airline company, w/ its legacy in rail. The company ought to own freight rail, but Eddie Willers ought to be in charge of securing gov't funds for "high speed" passenger and light rail projects (effectively cannibalizing both the rail and airline lines of business).

    That last bit is a tip of the hat to you Coyote.

  5. James H:

    “Government is the enabler of business…Government and business need to work together.”

    Yeah, whatever. If gov't leaders and CEO's all come out of a room smiling, it's not a good sign for the rest of us.

    Gov't is only the "enabler" of business when it does something like require carbon credits be bought and sold through an exchange, like Cali may be doing (and Chicago failed at). This only works if people (or companies) are forced to buy/sell on these credits on this exchange. I think that the Chicago exchange failed because it was set up in anticipation of Democrats succeeding in the Waxman-Markey (sp?) bill, which would have required companies to trade carbon credits, and then the bill died so did the exchange.

    This highlights the differences between free trade and forced trade. The forced trade only continues as long as it is forced by gov't. Even if Waxman-Markey passed and the CCX was chugging along, future congresses and presidents could have repealed the law and caused the CCX to quickly collapse since there is no intrinsic value in a "carbon credit".

  6. caseyboy:

    Great post. I sometimes wonder whether these businesses are in the pocket of Obama or Obama is in the pocket of these businesses. Ignoramus, great insights.

    Any businessman who thanks government for enabling commerce should be taken out and flogged. Government is an obstacle (regulations) and a blood sucker (taxes).

  7. el coronado:

    hmmm....should i read the 7000 page political manifesto (poorly) disguised as a novel, or watch one of the 10 funniest movies of all time once more? what to do...what to do....my mind is aglow with whirling, transient nodes of thought careening through a cosmic vapor of invention......

    tell you what. show me a better ayn rand quote than "mongo only pawn....in game of life", and i'll read the screed. till then, AH work for MEL BROOKS!!

  8. jt:

    As I recall, large companies aren't net creators of jobs even in the best of times. Might be more useful to bring in a dozen small business owners and ask why they're not hiring. But I'm pretty sure Obama wouldn't like their answers.

  9. Bearster:

    When government works together with business, who are they working against?
    Would-be competitors, suppliers, consumers, and of course the favorite milch-cow taxpayers.