Meg Whitman, candidate for Governor of California in the June 2010 Republican primary, appeared for a talk and a book signing at the Northern California famous Kepler's Books and Magazines in Menlo Park. The talk started at 7:30 pm so I came an hour early in order to get good seating, and sure enough I got into the 2nd row. The crowd slowly built to about 300, about all that can be fit into Kepler's.
Meg's book, "The Power of Many", was co-written by Joan O'C Hamilton. Joan spoke first, speaking mostly about her personal relationship with Meg. Joan coaches a local girls basketball team and many girls from the team came to the talk.
Although I have the title of Fremont Chair of the Meg Whitman campaign, this was the first time I have seen her in public. She is a tall and impressive looking woman of about 55. Her speaking voice is strong and clear. She started her career as a newly minted Harvard MBA at Proctor and Gamble, where she was in charge of marketing Ivory Shampoo. She noted that the shampoo was not a big hit.
Meg is quite a name dropper, and she can compete with the best of them at it. EBay had an extended outage years ago which put her and the company under a lot of pressure. Meg pulled out all the stops to get help on this, including using her personal relationship with Scott McNealy of Sun. She says she does not yell, she just calmly asks for help, and that gets her what she needs. Meg has also been close with John Chambers of Cisco as well as many other Silicon Valley CEOs. The message is obvious. Vote for the Governor who knows how to work with business. Small and large business will create the jobs California so desperately needs if the government will get out of its way. Jerry Brown - you and your old Plymouth are about to get steamrolled!
I was wearing my "Meg 2010 - A New California" T shirt. Immediately after the talk, Meg came right up to me and said she really liked my T Shirt. I was going to tell her that I knew where I could get her one, but I was a bit taken aback at the moment and short on fast repartee. I didn't think she even had noticed me but then I was in the 2nd row, so how could you not?