Obama pokes fun at Facebook founder

Last Updated: Thursday, April 21, 2011 - 19:51

Washington: President Barack Obama has joked that he was very proud he got Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to wear a jacket and tie.

"I`m very proud of that," President Obama quipped as he walked onto a stage at Facebook headquarters Palo Alto in California Wednesday, the New York Times reported on its website Thursday.

Obama and Zuckerberg, who sat next to each other, then proceeded to take off their jackets.

About an hour later, Obama, whose visit here forced Silicon Valley types to button down a bit, left - taking with him a far more casual item of clothing that has become de rigueur in some tech circles: a hoodie given to him by Zuckerberg. Of course, the Facebook logo was printed on it, according to the website.

Obama conducted a Town Hall meeting at Facebook. He took questions from company employees in a cavernous room turned into auditorium and from Facebook users over the social networking service, with Zuckerberg acting as moderator.

Obama delivered sharp attacks against Paul Ryan, the Wyoming Republican congressman who drafted a budget proposal heavy on spending cuts and tax cuts, and talked about the economy, health care, education and immigration reform.

Throughout the largely staged event, Obama and Zuckerberg appeared almost chummy with each other, the New York Times website said.

Zuckerberg praised Obama for his work on education. "I think the Race to the Top stuff that you guys have done is one of the most under-appreciated and most important things that your administration has done," it said quoting Zuckerberg.

Obama returned the favour a few minutes later, praising Zuckerberg for his $100 million philanthropic gift to public schools in Newark, New Jersey.

"Mark, the work you`re doing in Newark, for example, the work that the Gates Foundation are doing in philanthropic investments, in best practices and education - especially around math and science training - are going to be so important," Obama said.

IANS



First Published: Thursday, April 21, 2011 - 19:51

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