Obama Turns Focus to Tech in Campaign's Final Hours

On the eve of Election Day 2008, Barack Obama is turning his focus back to technology. The Democratic candidate released a new video in the final moments of the campaign discussing his plans for tech-related policies, if elected president.

The clip, uploaded to YouTube Sunday night and viewable below, features condensed segments of a presentation Obama delivered at Google's headquarters in November of 2007. In the speech, Obama promises to double federal funding for basic research and to implement a permanent R&D tax credit. He also discusses plans for tougher antitrust laws and goes over a number of other proposals:

  • Putting government data such as federal grant information, earmarks, and lobbying contracts online in universally accessible formats
  • Opening online forums for public comment, suggestions, and general Q&A on pending legislation
  • Making sure every American household, school, hospital, and library has broadband access
  • Improving standards for broadband speeds
  • Encouraging science and tech education
  • Furthering requirements for electronic medical records
  • Increasing investments in renewable energy

While Obama has made many headlines for his high-tech campaign tactics -- and also for his recent endorsement by Google CEO Eric Schmidt -- he and John McCain actually overlap more than one might think when it comes to their proposed policies. One recent online scorecard of positions on tech-related interests gives Obama the edge, while another puts McCain in front. A pair of forums held last Thursday saw supporters from both sides outlining reasons why their candidate would better benefit the computing world.

The real test, of course, will come Tuesday -- that is, if the nation's electronic voting machines don't fail. That'd certainly provide an ironic ending twist to America's most tech-centric presidential race to date, wouldn't it?

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