Apple's Steve Jobs meets with Obama to talk energy, job creation

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By Cecilia Kang
Friday, October 22, 2010; 7:42 AM

Apple CEO Steve Jobs met with President Obama on Thursday in a rare connection for the nation's most valuable high-tech company that has been purposefully shy of Beltway culture.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the meeting took place during Obama's visit to San Francisco and the two discussed energy independence and ways to increase job creation.

"They discussed American competitiveness and education, especially reforms such as the President's Race to the Top initiative," Gibbs said in a statement.

Earlier, Gibbs told reporters traveling on Air Force One from Seattle to San Francisco that it was "a meeting the president was interested in having." The last time they met was during Obama's presidential campaign in 2008.

Apple, despite its size and growing reach into new businesses -- mobile phone software and devices, television and music -- has a decidedly small lobbying and policy operation in Washington. The company spent $340,000 in lobbying in the last quarter, a fraction of the amount that competitor Microsoft and telecom giant AT&T spend.

Apple has about four lobbyists, headed by Cathy Novelli. a former assistant U.S. Trade Representative. Apple has contracted Paul Margie, a partner at Wiltshire & Grannis, to press the Federal Communications Commission on communications policies.

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