Can’t say exactly where we met, or how this came about, but one thing I can tell you — pray to whatever God you worship that nothing happens to Obama. Because if Joe Biden gets put in charge, we are all in a shitload of trouble.
What I can tell you is that we met at an airport, in the private jet hangar, and Al Gore set this up after finding out, purely by chance, that Biden and I would be crossing paths. So the deal was we had to go to this private room and wait. Finally some Secret Service guys sweep through, and then some other birdbrain comes in and says the vice president will be here shortly and our instructions are that we must all be standing when he comes in, and we’ll remain standing during the meeting. So of course as soon as the guy leaves I sit down, and Katie tells me I’m a dick but I tell her, fuck that, I don’t stand for anyone, and I make sure that when Biden arrives I’m still sitting down and pretending to check email on my iPhone, and I hold up one hand as if to say, I’m almost done, be right with you, hang on a sec, okay, almost there, and … done.
What can I tell you? Up close he’s just, well, amazingly empty. The fake tan, the hair implants, the big white teeth — he looks like he should be working in sales at Siebel Systems or SAP. We shake hands, and he says he’s a big fan of the Macintosh, and then he starts into some speech and he sounds like a guy talking at a lunch for the local Kiwanis Club or something. He’s like, “Steve, we’re all just so proud of you guys out there in the Silicon Valley and what you’re doing, and the president and I both want you to know that we, meaning our country, we need you guys and the work you’re doing, we’re really depending on you to build the future for our country and to keep us ahead in this increasingly competitive global economy where as you know our rivals are putting huge resources into technology and science and engineering but luckily America still remains the great growth engine of the world, the greatest source of innovation and entrepreneurship, and we just think you’re a living breathing example of the best that our country can do, and you know, I’m very fond of the Irish poets, and one of my favorite Irish poets, Yeats, once said in a very wonderful poem called Easter 1916, he said, `Everything is changed, changed utterly, and a terrible beauty is born,’ and you know, Steve, I think of that line when I think of the great beauty of technology and the genius and innovation you guys are pushing ahead with every day.”
He stopped to take a breath and I was like, That’s not actually how that line in Yeats goes, and I’m pretty sure it has nothing to do with technology, either — but by then Biden has turned around and he’s gone, making his way along a line of guys and shaking hands as if he were at some campaign stop, smiling and grabbing people, and I was pretty sure he had no idea who we were or where he was, and so just for fun, just to test him, I ran down to the end of the group, and I got in line there beside Katie and when he got to me I said, Hi, I’m not sure if you remember, but I’m Larry Ellison from Oracle, we met last year at a fundraiser at John Doerr’s house, and he goes — I swear to God — he goes, Larry! Of course I remember! How ya doing! What’s new? And I go, Well, I had prostate surgery a few months ago and I’m still kind of incontinent, and to be honest, when we shook hands just now I kind of coughed and when I coughed I shit in my pants a little bit, and he goes, Hey, fantastic! Glad to hear it! You guys keep up all the great work you’re doing on that greentech!
Then he hurried back out to the hangar and started going up the ladder to the wrong plane, and the Secret Service guys had to turn him around and put him on his plane, and he just laughed like a knucklehead and did whatever they told him to do.
So yeah. Pray, people. Pray a lot.