Present at the Creation
The new very broadband high capacity networks . . . ought to be built by the federal government and then transitioned into private industry.
--Vice President-elect Al Gore, at the December 1992 postelection economic summit in Little Rock
Private sector leadership accounts for the explosive growth of the Internet today, and the success of electronic commerce will depend on continued private sector leadership.
--"A Framework for Electronic Commerce" (July 1997), a White House policy paper written by Ira Magaziner with advice from Vice President Gore's staff
It was an extraordinary turnabout. In the space of the four and a half years between these two statements, the most technology-literate administration in American history reversed itself on one of the century's more important technological questions. It wasn't a political change of heart that turned Bill Clinton and Al Gore around but a recognition that they were dealing with something vastly greater than they had imagined only a few years earlier. And that "something greater" now urgently confronts the United States and other countries with important choices.
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