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Apple Makes Nice With Washington Elite

  • Fortune, Tuesday, May 29, 2012 12:35 PM

Continuing to pave his own path at Apple, CEO Tim Cook paid his first visit to Capital Hill, last week. “The low-key visit [involved a handful of meetings with congressional leaders] was in keeping with the company's traditional approach to Washington,” according to Fortune. “But the fact that Cook visited at all signals a subtle but significant pivot for the outfit inside the Beltway.”

Cook’s predecessor, Steve Jobs, was not known to involve himself in lobbying efforts, or political glad-handing. “As his successor begins to put his own imprint on the company, however, Cook wants key players in Washington to know they now have an open line to the chief executive in Cupertino,” Fortune writes. That was the message aides briefed on the meetings said Cook conveyed in sit-downs with House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Adds Fortune: “The huddles were brief and largely introductory. McConnell, for example, mentioned his iPad, and they discussed the fact that the glass used on the device and in the iPhone is manufactured at a Corning plant in Kentucky.” In other words, larger sticking points -- i.e., the Justice Department lawsuit over e-books pricing, or a look by the International Trade Commission into whether Apple violated a Motorola patent, were reportedly not discussed.


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