Apple rules over Silicon Valley, but could it have had a presence in the White House, too? That's what a stolen email from John Podesta, Hillary Clinton's campaign chair, seems to suggest. Gizmodo uncovered the email after WikiLeaks released it earlier this week. The email, sent this past March, includes a supposed list of vice presidential candidates. While there are some more established political names on the list (including Tim Kaine, the Virginia senator whom Clinton announced as her running mate in July), there are also some unusual options. Among those more surprising names are individuals with a large stake in the tech world: Tim Cook, Apple's CEO; Bill and Melinda Gates; and Mary Barra, the CEO of General Motors. Also included on the list were Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. Of course, the email has not been confirmed as legitimate, and neither Cook nor Bill and Melinda Gates have issued any sort of statement to say they were in talks with Clinton at any point. But, as New York magazine, noted, these non-political vice presidential options could have been a response to Donald Trump, who has focused on his business rather than political background as a successful campaigning point throughout this election cycle.
These choices also make sense, considering President Obama has emphasized his commitment to technology during his time in the White House. He created the Internet Policy Task Force, updated the patent system with the America Invents Act, and has worked to introduce greater wireless infrastructure nationwide. It wouldn't be too far off to presume that Clinton would be interested in continuing this work were she elected. And, who better than the individuals behind Apple or Microsoft to help carry it out? At least, iPhone-lovers can rest assured that Cook is staying in Silicon Valley for now. Both Apple and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation declined to comment for this story.