Obama eyeing Google Chairman Schmidt for government role?

Speculation is growing in the US that Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt could be in line for a role in Barack Obama’s government.

The President is preparing a cabinet shakeup as he settles into his second term in the White House, and reports from Washington suggest Schmidt’s long-term support for Obama may win him a governmental role.

The Washington Examiner says Schmidt could be made secretary of either Commerce or the Treasury, while a new ‘secretary of business’ slot is also a potential offering for the Google chief. “Cabinet shakeup watchers” have pointed to Google’s $1.9 billion donation to the Democrats in the recent election and the government’s effort to quiet a possible Federal Trade Commission investigation into the company as key indicators that Schmidt could be brought even closer to the Obama administration.

The Examiner also notes Obama’s visit to Google’s headquarters back in 2007 and Schmidt’s presence alongside the President during his first post-election press conference the following year.

“Nobody’s better positioned for a Cabinet job, if he wants one,” a Democrat strategist reportedly told the Examiner.

Should Schmidt land a role in the US administration, questions may be asked about the implications of such close ties between a national government and a corporation that holds so much data on citizens all over the world.