PALO ALTO, Calif. -- President Obama always does well on college campuses. But he has taken a particular shine to Stanford University.
Maybe it's because the campus was sun-drenched and a balmy 73 degrees on Friday, a marked contrast to the freezing temperatures in Washington. Or because some of his top advisers went here. Or because it helped spawn the computer revolution -- a fitting place for him to address a summit on cybersecurity.
"I’ve got to admit, like, I kind of want to go here," Obama said to a very, very friendly audience.
"I was trying to figure out why it is that a really nice place like this is wasted on young people -- who don’t fully appreciate what you got. It’s really nice. And everybody here is so friendly and smart, and it’s beautiful. And what’s there not to like?" he asked.
Obama attended Occidental College in Los Angeles before transferring to Columbia University, where he got his undergraduate degree. He later went to Harvard Law School. There may be a future member of a Stanford class in the family. According to reports Malia Obama toured the campus here last year.
Obama said his team is “infiltrated with Stanford people,” including National Security Adviser Susan Rice, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, former ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul and Valerie Jarrett.
“Let’s face it, I like Stanford grads,” Obama said. “I’d always heard about this campus, and everybody is riding bikes, and people hopping into fountains.”
Obama lauded Stanford's place in the history of the Internet and computing, where he said people developed America's first Web page, built the foundation for the Internet and that student projects here turned into Yahoo! and Google.
"Those were pretty good student projects," he said. Now, people here are helping solve some of the world's most difficult cyber issues, including security, the focus of the summit here.
Stanford was also responsible for making nerdy chic, he said. It's cool to be a nerd!!
"I was thinking about wearing some black-rimmed glasses, some tape in the middle, but I guess that’s not what you do anymore," Obama said. "Ambassador McFaul told me if I came to Stanford, you’d 'talk nerdy to me.'"
Obama did talk to Stanford students -- and they discussed coming back to class and midterms.
"You guys deserve a three-day weekend," Obama told them.