As if you don’t already know, I’ll remind you that, earlier this year, Jay Carney resigned from his position as the White House Press Secretary—and ever since, rumors have been flying about his possible ascent to a similar position with Apple. Seemingly everyone who works in technology has some opinion on this, with several industry insiders quite convinced that Carney will soon be the new face of Apple, and others equally convinced that it’d never happen, that Carney wouldn’t even want the job and that Apple wouldn’t offer it to him.
Let me say something that might be pretty shocking and provocative: I honestly have no idea. I’m not making any kind of prediction, and don’t mean to engage in speculation. I’m hearing more and more people who legitimately doubt that Carney will take a gig at Apple. With that said, if Carney did become an Apple spokesman—either now or in the future—I’m not sure that it would surprise me. I’m not sure that it would surprise me at all.
That has less to do with what I know of Carney and more to do with what I know of Apple. Simply put, Apple is much more of a political company than most people realize—and it has to be. Apple is heavily engaged in lobbying, on issues related to business and technology and patent law. This isn’t a side of Apple that the general public is widely aware of, yet it makes sense: Why wouldn’t Apple be heavily involved in the lobbying process?
Take my own role with Apple, which was in the company’s higher education division. Why would Apple focus so heavily on that sector, and why would it find so much success there? It has everything to do with the public money Apple was able to secure, which is—again—all linked to the company’s relentless lobbying efforts.
Another thing: Apple’s need for lobbying is not going to diminish any time soon. The company is moving steadily into the healthcare field—that’s what the iWatch is going to be all about, I’m telling you—and as you might imagine, healthcare involves a lot more federal regulation than, say, selling songs on iTunes.
Will Jay Carney ever become an Apple company man? I have no idea. But it wouldn’t bother me—he is immensely qualified. And it certainly wouldn’t surprise me.