PoliticoGoogle has long been known as Barack Obama's BFF: The company and its employees made the Top 5 list of contributors to the president's 2008 campaign. Its executive chairman, Eric Schmidt , endorsed Obama and donated $25,000 to his inauguration fund. And Obama tapped Schmidt as an unpaid adviser. But that's all so 2008.
In 2012, the search giant based in bright blue Silicon Valley has wrapped itself in red, hiring a string of Republicans and even hosting a GOP presidential debate Thursday night with Fox News.
Tech observers say Google is finally wising up politically: Playing clear favorites with one party or the other was bound to backfire in Washington.