Apple Computer Board member Gore blasts President Bush; is this good for government Mac sales?

Al Gore, who lost the presidency to George W. Bush in 2000, on Sunday assailed President Bush, accusing him of betraying the nation by invading Iraq. Al Gore is also a member of Apple Computer’s Board of Directors, having joined on March 19, 2003.

“‘He took America on an ill-conceived foreign adventure, dangerous to our troops, that was preordained and planned before 9-11,’ Gore told Tennessee Democrats at a party event Sunday. The former vice president said that he, like millions of others, had put partisanship aside after the September 11 terrorist attacks and wanted Bush to lead the nation. Instead, Gore shouted to the crowd, Bush ‘betrayed us,'” The Associated Press reports. Full article here.

Gore’s attacks come at a time when Apple shows increased interest in sales to government agencies. Apple was an exhibitor at FOSE 2004, a large technology trade show and conference for government professionals which took place last March 23-25 at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC.

“Apple Computer said… that it is experimenting with new efforts to boost sales of Macintoshes to business and government customers. Apple sales chief Tim Cook told financial analysts that the company last month launched a direct effort that’s aimed at the creative market and government entities, with 70 Apple employees working in either field sales or telephone sales,’ Ina Fried reported for CNET News.com this past November. Full article here.

Back in August 2003, The Office of Management and Budget added Linux and Mac OS to the list of supporting platforms under the Technical Reference Model of the Federal Enterprise Architecture. And, in September, MacTeens.com reported that the login interface files from a recent build of Panther contains text and images for a U.S. Government specific login interface including seals for the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Department of Defense, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and U.S. Public Health Service. Then, in October, Apple published a knowledge base article with an Installation and Setup Guide for using the Department of Defense Common Access Card with Mac OS X.

In light of Apple’s new interest in selling Macs to U.S. government entities, does it make sense to have a sitting board member accusing the sitting U.S. President of “betraying the nation?” While no one would accuse us of being Dale Carnegie honor grads, it still doesn’t seem like the greatest idea to us. Should Apple rethink the Gore appointment or should Gore, for the good of Apple, step down from the Apple Board if he wants to continue to play politics?

228 Comments

  1. Uh oh, here it comes….

    Come on. Gore is a member of the board of directors. I’m sure that he’s not speaking as such when he blasts Bush. He is still active in his concerns for our country and has every right to speak. Besides, someone has to tell the truth about the Shrub…

  2. I choose to just ignore the fact that “Algore” is unfortunately a member of Apple’s board and continue to happily use a Mac anyway. Being a Mac user is probably the only thing I have in common with Al Gore (Thank God!!!).

  3. He is irrelevent, but this is why apple should have elected not to include such a controversial member on the board. For the same reason, they should not hire any big public figure that has no computer experiance – other than “creating the internet” of course ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

    Seriously, I see not benifits in having gore on board, but i do not see any pluses either.

    Mac’s appeal to anyone that needs to get work done, not manage their computer – whether they are on my side or the wrong side – lol.

  4. What does he contribute to Apple anyway??? Although I don’t agree with Gore in any way, shape or form, I wouldn’t expect him to be quiet on political matters because he represents a company that does business with the govt’. George Bush is not in charge of gov’t procurement. I really don’t think it matters at all except to the two parties……

    hooty

  5. Forget which side you are on or not: this conduct is not appropriate for a major company’s Board of Directors member. Pick one or the other Al – shut up and sit on various boards and die rich or play politics with your jaw out of place because you mistakenly think “you got robbed.”

  6. Oh how I love his use of the term “preordained before 9/11” and how truthful it is. Especially considering there were plans to invade Iraq and deal with Hussein going back to the first 4 years Clinton was in office. Gore is just spouting off rhetoric and playing up to the crowd saying what is popular to say these days. Considering the alternatives, I’ll stick with Bush for now.

    And I agree, it is unfortunate that Gore is a member of the board, but that won’t stop me from being a Mac Fan. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  7. For those of you that don’t know, board members are not necessarily picked for companies based upon their expertise in the area. They are there to help guide the company in the business arena. I do suspect that Steve picked Al partially because he liked him politically.

  8. Yeah, right. ‘Cause when you think “Al Gore”, you think “Apple”. All of Al’s enemies are gonna lock arms and move against Apple.

    I don’t know if Al is good for the board or not, but I don’t think his political opinions will do any harm to Apple.

    And if I ever see Apple sucking up to GW, I’m gonna puke.

  9. To Fred Mertz:

    Suppose your company told you that you could no longer politically speak your mind. What would you do? Do you really think that a person should give up their right to say what they feel politically just because of who they work for? I would agree with you completely if he was attempting to speak for Apple Computers, Inc. He’s not.

  10. Al Gore certainly has a right, and an obligation to speak. After all, he won the popular vote, and would have won the electoral college vote if 5 supreme court justices hadn’t decided they should choose who won. There are things he sees as being egregiously wrong, is he supposed to sit quiet because he’s on the board of a computer company?

    I think most (but not all) of you complaining are likely hypocritical. Why? Because if you had Rush Limbaugh or someone like him on Apple’s Board, and he was trashing a democratic president, you’d be cheering him on. So quit trying to fool other people with your silly outrage, fooling yourself is more than enough.

  11. Wow. Those who are upset about Gore’s statements don’t seem to be too impressed with the Right of Free Speech. Come on! Gore is a politician. He makes political statements.

    I just wonder if those people who have problems with Gore’s Apple affiliation also have the same problem with a right winger like Rush Limbaugh’s promotion of the Mac.

    Are you saying that if you’re affiliated with a corporation, you should give up the right to express your views? Remember, corporations spend millions on lobbyists – whose job it is to try to influence politicians!

    Finally, if Bush would sink Apple’s foray into government because of something like this, Bush is even worse than I thought!

  12. In the end it doesn’t really matter. The OMB has the most say in what computer platforms the US Government purchases. These are negotiated through contracts with vendors such as GTSI and CDW-G. What Mr Gore thinks of President Bush and vice versa really has little impact on Apple’s making in-roads in the government sector.

    What Apple really needs is to get the OS C2 certified according to the Orange Book.

  13. Luckily for Steve Jobs, I’m open minded enough to base my computer buying decisions on what product I think is best, and not on what political affiliations he and his board members have.

    It would greatly benefit Steve to disassociate himself from such polarizing personalities like Al Gore and not have them sitting on his board. It doesn’t exactly make most Americans want to buy from your company when one of your own board members is basically out calling the sitting President of our country a traitor. All it will do is drive away business from those who aren’t quite as open minded with these kinds of associations.

    If the shoe was on the other foot I’d still feel the same. However, something tells me that if it were a Republican sitting on Apple’s board blasting a Democratic President, the media would be all over this calling for their removable from the board. Such is the hypocracy that goes on these days unfortunately. I’m glad to see that at least someone (MDN) is calling them out on it anyway.

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