Originally Posted by mores
What does an american president have to do with technology?
While I'm sure it's plenty of fun to try and marginalize the importance of the United States and its government (I'll be the bigger man and not point out the fact that most of Canada's population literally lives right next to the northern margin of the US), the fact remains that, for now, we're still the single biggest innovator in the realms of science and technology.
As a result, the person who serves as the president of our county ends up becoming extremely important to the development of these disciplines not only the US, but also worldwide. The president's attitude toward science and technology is important locally because it significantly impacts the atmosphere under which new innovations are developed (or not developed). Most notably, his (or her?) appointments into various positions within the government can have drastic effects on how science-related research is supported both financially and legally. More directly, the president can veto legislation dealing with science and technology that he (or she) doesn't agree with. If I'm correct, I believe George W. Bush's first line-item veto was on a proposal about stem cell research, and his actions in relation to that topic have created a large emigration of intellectual capital to other countries throughout the world where the attitudes toward science are less repressive. There are, of course, many subtler ways that the President of the United States of America affects technology worldwide, economic policy (especially in relation to trade) probably being the most obvious.
Now, call me an arrogant American, but I'd say that the idea that the president of this country has nothing to do with technology is indicative of an ignorant or ill-informed attitude not only toward the very important relationship between US politics and science, but the similar role played by the government of any country and its leaders. How's that suit ya, fancy pants?