Tuesday, 01 November 2016 10:18

Google's Schmidt drew up draft plan for Clinton in 2014 Featured


Eric Schmidt, the chairman of Google's parent company Alphabet, submitted a detailed draft to a key Clinton aide on 15 April 2014, outlining his ideas for a possible run for the presidency and stressing that "key is the development of a single record for a voter that aggregates all that is known about them".

Though Schmidt did not mention it, this kind of information is the lifeblood of Google's business.

The ideas, in an email released by the whistleblower website WikiLeaks, were sent to Cheryl Mills, former deputy White House counsel to Bill Clinton. Mills forwarded it to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, campaign manager Robby Mook and Barack Obama's 2012 campaign manager David Plouffe.

The email is one of a trove from Podesta's gmail account that was obtained by WikiLeaks. About two weeks prior to this, Podesta wrote to Mook that he had met Schmidt and that he (Schmidt) was keen to be the "top outside adviser".

In the 15 April 2014 email, Schmidt emphasised that what he was putting forward was a draft, writing, "Here are some comments and observations based on what we saw in the 2012 campaign. If we get started soon, we will be in a very strong position to execute well for 2016." It was titled "Notes for a 2016 Democratic campaign".

He divided his comments into categories such as size, structure and timing; location; the pieces of a campaign; the rules; and what he called the key things.

With regard to size, structure and timing, Schmidt wrote: "Let's assume a total budget of about US$1.5 billion, with more than 5000 paid employees and million(s) of volunteers. The entire start-up ceases operation four days after 8 November 2016."

As to location, he did not like the idea of using Washington DC as a base and was keen on low-paid workers. "The campaign headquarters will have about a thousand people, mostly young and hard-working and enthusiastic. It's important to have a very large hiring pool (such as Chicago or NYC) from which to choose enthusiastic, smart and low-paid permanent employees," he wrote.

"DC is a poor choice as it's full of distractions and interruptions. Moving the location from DC elsewhere guarantees visitors have taken the time to travel and to help."

Under "The pieces of a campaign", Schmidt said: "It's important to have strong field leadership, with autonomy and empowerment. Operations talent needs to build the offices, set up the systems, hire the people, and administer what is about 5000 people."

And, he added; "For organising tools, build a simple way to link people and activities as a workflow and let the field manage the system, all cloud based. Build a simple organising tool with a functioning back-end."

About voters, Schmidt had this to say: "Key is the development of a single record for a voter that aggregates all that is known about them. In 2016 smartphones will be used to identify, meet, and update profiles on the voter. A dynamic volunteer can easily speak with a voter and, with their email or other digital handle, get the voter videos and other answers to areas they care about ('the benefits of ACA to you' etc)."

The Alphabet chairman wrote that "a large group of campaign employees will use digital marketing methods to connect to voters, to offer information, to use social networks to spread good news, and to raise money. Partners like Blue State Digital will do much of the fund raising."

He had plenty of ideas for using the media. "New tools should be developed to measure reach and impact of paid, earned and social media. The impact of press coverage should be measurable in reach and impact, and TV effectiveness measured by attention and other surveys.

"Build tools that measure the rate and spread of stories and rumours, and model how it works and who has the biggest impact. Tools can tell us about the origin of stories and the impact of any venue, person or theme. Connect polling into this in some way. Find a way to do polling online and not on phones."

Schmidt also wanted a score computed for each voter, ranking the probability of them casting the "right vote".

"Analytics can model demographics, social factors and many other attributes of the needed voters," he wrote. "It should be possible to link the voter records in Van (a database) with upcoming databases from companies like Comcast and others for media measurement purposes."

But despite all the complexity, Schmidt wanted costs kept to the bare minimum: "It's important that all the players in the campaign work at cost and there be no special interests in the financing structure. This means that all vendors work at cost and there is a separate auditing function to ensure no one is profiting unfairly from the campaign," he wrote.

And finally, outlining what he said the key things, Schmidt listed the following:

  • a) early build of an integrated development team and recognition that this is an entire system that has to be managed as such;
  • b) decisions to exclusively use cloud solutions for scalability, and choice of vendors and any software from 2012 that will be re-used;
  • c) the role of the smartphone in the hands of a volunteer. The smartphone manages the process, updates the database, informs the citizen, and allows fundraising and recruitment of volunteers (on Android and iPhone); and
  • d) early and continued focus of qualifying fundraising dollars to build the field, and build all the tools. Outside money will be plentiful and perfect for TV use. A smart media mix tool tells all we need to know about media placement, TV versus other media and digital media.
Read 9704 times

Please join our community here and become a VIP.

Subscribe to ITWIRE UPDATE Newsletter here
JOIN our iTWireTV our YouTube Community here


If you're looking at enabling Microsoft Teams for your contact centre, you should bookmark this webinar.

Marketing budgets are now focused on Webinars combined with Lead Generation.

Our panellists from Whangarei District Council (NZ) and Maurice Blackburn Lawyers (Aus) were closely involved in recent projects to enable Microsoft Teams for their own contact centres.

They have kindly agreed to join Enghouse and Microsoft to talk about some of the things they would recommend as most critical for IT and CX professionals planning a Teams Contact Centre migration.

Date: 11 May 2022
Time: 12pm AEST | 2pm NZST | 10am SGT

We look forward to having you join us. Please click the button below to register.



The past year has seen a meteoric rise in ransomware incidents worldwide.

Over the past 12 months, SonicWall Capture Labs threat researchers have diligently tracked the meteoric rise in cyberattacks, as well as trends and activity across all threat vectors, including:

Encrypted threats
IoT malware
Zero-day attacks and more

These exclusive findings are now available via the 2022 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report, which ensures SMBs, government agencies, enterprises and other organizations have the actionable threat intelligence needed to combat the rising tide of cybercrime.

Click the button below to get the report.



It's all about Webinars.

Marketing budgets are now focused on Webinars combined with Lead Generation.

If you wish to promote a Webinar we recommend at least a 3 to 4 week campaign prior to your event.

The iTWire campaign will include extensive adverts on our News Site itwire.com and prominent Newsletter promotion https://itwire.com/itwire-update.html and Promotional News & Editorial. Plus a video interview of the key speaker on iTWire TV https://www.youtube.com/c/iTWireTV/videos which will be used in Promotional Posts on the iTWire Home Page.

Now we are coming out of Lockdown iTWire will be focussed to assisting with your webinars and campaigns and assistance via part payments and extended terms, a Webinar Business Booster Pack and other supportive programs. We can also create your adverts and written content plus coordinate your video interview.

We look forward to discussing your campaign goals with you. Please click the button below.


Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

Share News tips for the iTWire Journalists? Your tip will be anonymous




Guest Opinion

Guest Interviews

Guest Reviews

Guest Research

Guest Research & Case Studies

Channel News