Personal Democracy Forum CEO Andrew Rasiej told me that most American politicians don’t know the difference between a waiter and a server. Perhaps. But one politician who certainly can distinguish between the two is Anna Eshoo, the Democratic Congresswoman for California’s 14th District, which she has represented since 1993. As Silicon Valley’s representative in DC, Eshoo not only knows her servers from her waiters, but is also well versed in complex technological policy such as spectrum, privacy and SOPA, as well as being a keen observer of the innovation that distinguishes Silicon Valley from the rest of the world.
“IP represents American genius,” Eshoo told me when she came into the TechCrunch studio a couple of weeks ago. And while Eshoo believes that the ingenuity of the American people is “second to none”, she nonetheless thinks that Silicon Valley has much to teach the rest of the country. “Innovation is the calling card of the future,” she said, sounding like the best-selling writer about creativity Jonah Lehrer, and it effects everything we do. Thus, she told me, it’s critical that America gets its technology policy right.