Is Silicon Valley going gaga over Presidential candidate Barack Obama? Netscape (and Loudcloud and Ning) founder Marc Andreessen shares his impressions from an hour-and-a-half private meeting he had with the Senator back in early 2007 and declares him to be “normal,” “smart”, “not a radical,” and incredibly “credible.” We here at TechCrunch also find him credible, which is why we endorsed him as the most tech-enlightened Democratic candidate in our Tech President Primaries.
Andreessen sheds some more light on Obama’s leadership and foreign policy skills—two areas where he’s been criticized as being weak. Excerpt:
We asked him directly, how concerned should we be that you haven’t had meaningful experience as an executive — as a manager and leader of people?
He said, watch how I run my campaign — you’ll see my leadership skills in action.
We then asked, well, what about foreign policy — should we be concerned that you just don’t have much experience there?
He said — and I’m going to paraphrase a little here: think about who I am — my father was Kenyan; I have close relatives in a small rural village in Kenya to this day; and I spent several years of my childhood living in Jakarta, Indonesia. Think about what it’s going to mean in many parts of the world — parts of the world that we really care about — when I show up as the President of the United States. I’ll be fundamentally changing the world’s perception of what the United States is all about.
He’s got my vote.
That last point is a pretty powerful rejoinder to the criticism that foreign policy is not Obama’s strong suit. His unique life history arguably puts him in a better position than any other candidate to change the anti-American attitudes rife in many other countries. What other candidate could do that simply by being elected?